Carelia: Internacional con monumento, André Duque, España, 2019, 90’
Guest speaker: Andrés Duque, film maker.
“My latest film is a documentary which studies a land divided by the Finnish-Russian border and which evokes a wound more than a boundary. I initially went searching for traces of its ancestral mythology and of the magical and religious practices of its inhabitants. I wanted to know if, with them, it was possible to invoke the past, heal the traumas of the war or calm the panic that arises in the face of unstoppable political changes that threaten social wellbeing. However, the Karelians themselves told me that nothing was left of that magical past and that I would be wasting my time.
I came across an Orthodox Christian family which still practices rituals that summon their shaman ancestors. To me, they had a great healing potential. They were the metaphor for a recovery; paradise on Earth. A regrettable event occurred around the same time: the historian and activist Yuri Dmitriev was sent to prison. For more than twenty years he worked on locating the mass graves of the hundreds of people who mined the Karelian territory during the political repression campaigns carried out in the Soviet Union in the late 1930s.
By joining these two stories and linking the emotions and strengths concentrated in each of them, I was able to use the impressions from that summer on Karelian soil to give back a gesture, an image or a record—conscious that I was using imagination to create a memory of historical facts. The people at the heart of the story, the Pankrat’ev family, have a wooden house that they call the God Pan. I believe that he best defines the spirit of this work: on one hand, Pan, the embodiment of rustic and rural life and of nature; on the other, panic, and awareness of fear.”