When I saw the documentary about the theater group of La Cachada, in which the process of making one of the group's plays is told, it made me question again the limit between the documentary and fiction. Or rather between the documentary and the cinema, which for many people are the same. Although there are very well elaborated cases that reflect 100% this idea of "documentary-film" reality (in my opinion) is that the documentary is separated from the really cinematographic language. Now, the documentary of course has a great social and communicative contribution. That is why countries like ours (El Salvador) where a film industry didn't develop have to focus on the documentary.
Seeing this documentary, of national Salvadoran production, although of Spanish direction, at first, I had some doubts, is it a documentary? Well, there are scenes that one might think were directed, rehearsed and planned. The camera was placed in the room where these women rehearsed preparing their play, and these rehearsals reveal experiences of their lives as a result of the injustice of this country. This dynamic was problematic, because the actresses are aware of the camera, but the narrative emerges as if there was no camera.What makes this documentary very agile narratively is that it uses elements of the documentary and builds a fiction narrative, which is achieved in the editing process.
After listening to the director in a conversation, she clarifies the doubts by saying that nothing was planned, there was no script or essays. And at that moment is that the documentary comes alive along with the life of the protagonists. Presenting elements that we can discuss as part of a fictional narrative.
As the first element is that white room of the rehearsals, that white color can represent many things, especially in contrast to the stories that are told, the white reflects that peace that the theater has given them and that freedom they have to express themselves.
An incredible element that happens reaching the end, is when the protagonists revisit the letters they wrote at the beginning, this element that of course is real, but that contributes as a fictional narrative representing the development curve of each one of them. They learn to tell their story and, in the end, they face themselves from the past, meaning that they not only have to accept their story but themselves. And finally, an element that I consider an intelligent decision is not to show the play. In other words, if you want to see the play, go to the theater to see it. At that point the documentary comes back to life and is independent of the play, expressing that what it provides as a visual medium is different from what the play brings.
Although the documentary was not focused on criticizing the causes of these unfair stories, with its agile narrative it generates empathy with the protagonists and tell us about the overcoming process of these talented Salvadoran women.
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