5 questions to Milagros Mumenthaler:
What was your reaction when you received the good news?
Well, I couldn’t believe it, also because I wasn’t the one to directly receive the call. When I was told, I hung up and then rang back straight afterwards to check if it was true and if I had understood correctly. And then, OK, it was happiness. It’s difficult to find words when you receive a prize like this for your first film.
So let’s talk about this intimate Abrir puertas y ventanas, which circles around the bereavement and the relationship between three women.
The focus point was just the relationship between the three, which, once the family pillar is fallen, with the grandmother’s death, have to take responsibility and make decisions, and this slowly makes them move from an adolescent world to a adulthood.
Each one of them takes a different path, because when facing the void left by the loss, it was inevitable that their communication would have been touch by misunderstandings.
The many psychological facets are fully rendered by your trio of actresses. It’s not by chance that Maria Canale also won the prize for Best Actress.
It’s something that makes me really happy, because this is basically a character film, so the story couldn’t rely on anything but the realistic strength of their acting. And I have to say that all actresses, in the work done before the shoot, have given a vital contribution to the development of their characters – the big sister still attached to her development, the little sister who’s enigmatic and elusive, and the middle sister who instead rebels because it’s harder for her to find her place in the world.
There’s another main character in the story: the white house in Buenos Aires where the sisters live. A place made of “doors” and “windows” which open and close relationships, gazes and emotions.
In the end the house in nothing else but the metaphor of the grandmother who’s no longer there. It’s the familiar space that nourishes all their relationship, but without turning into a claustrophobic place. It was important to let openings that would allow to enter and exit the house, because out there, for all of them, life still goes on.
And it was also a way to let us in on the story, discovering it all bit by bit…
When someone enters a stranger’s house, you don’t understand all internal relationships straight away, but you have to move through the cues that come from different characters, behaviors, motivations. You proceed slowly, just like spectators identify with the story a bit at the time.
She’s the director whose film opened doors and windows to the Pardo d’oro 2011.
[Lorenzo Buccella, 13 | 8 | 2011]