Our Blog

“Films Have To Go Deeper Than Reality”

nijugrapher-iffi_2016-day_8-17-dsc_3295By Kinjal Sethia

“Making a film is an act of faith. I had faith that I would this film a reality,” says Julieta Ledesma, director of ‘Son of War’ (2016). The film is set in the countryside of Argentina, portraying psychological tensions underlying family discord. As familial conflict unveils amidst the backdrop of a drought, Ledesma says, “I wanted to emphasize the emotional drought, rather than the economic shortages. It is the former that symbolises the deeper malaise of an unravelling family value system. I wanted to show how external situations can alter internal values and make humans as vicious as animals.”

‘Son of War’ is Julieta’s debut . She says, “This has been an intense experience for me. I wanted to make this film for the last ten years. But I had faith. Even if it took time, the film grew and I grew with it. I was brought up in a large traditional family, but always thought differently. That is how I relate to the main character, who seeks liberation from the bound of accepted norms. In a patriarchal society like Argentina, it is not easy for women to make films.”

Argentina – like much of South America – is known for its overtly macho culture. Ledesma says, “It is not easy, but things have improved after the Presidentship of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Now there is some breakthrough in women’s rights. After all, the entire world is moving towards equality.”

She adds, “My film speaks about liberation of all sexual orientations. Last year Argentina passed a law legalising same sex marriages. However, while such issues are accepted in the cities, they are still abhorred in the countryside.” However, the new (Argentinian) Pope Francis has had some liberating influence. Ledesma says, “The Pope is less conservative because he wants to preserve society. If you are rigid and stagnant, you just die. If the society has to progress, the Church has to be flexible, or it will lose followers.”

Ledesma, is inspired by magic realism, the fictional genre with powerful roots in Argentina. She says, “I wanted to develop this theme further. This film is metaphorical, even though the issues it deals with are real. It is deliberately left vague, as it wants to dig deeper than the superficiality of familial emotions. I want people to see beyond reality. The film compels the audience to think within the mind-set of the main character. Many people have reacted that it is a difficult film to watch. I may agree that it is not a pleasant film, but this is how I want to make films. They have to go deeper than reality.”