The ugly one, Eric Baudelaire, France, 2013, 101’, OV with Spanish subtitles
This is a film constructed from fragments of memory, of the present, of what history could be and what it finally is; which enquires into how to combine two times and two experiences, which attempts to present on screen the intersection between the political and the emotional: on the one hand, there’s the story of Lili and Michael, a couple who meet in the wintry, ruinous landscape of the coast of Beirut. Their memories have to do with a terrorist attack, with an explosion, with the disappearance of their daughter Elena. On the other, we follow the voice over narration of filmmaker and political activist Masao Adachi, who recounts his own experience in Beirut during almost thirty years of clandestine struggle. Both narrations crisscross, to finally construct a double landscape, eerie and ghostly, which confronts political history, love story, fiction and documentary, as well as two generations and two ways of understanding politics and cinema. What is the real meaning of militancy? What is the role of repentance? Is it possible to construct a film with all these elements, or, as the devastated landscape of the film shows, with characters completely adrift, that is an impossible undertaking.