This startling and powerful conceit, is partly about death, but mostly it is about memory – who will remember them when they all die? They have outlived their children and are disconnected from the “civilized” world. In whose memory will they live on? Their reluctance to leave is understandable, for who doesn’t want to be remembered? The repository for their memory/being comes in the form of a young photographer, Rita, who, having no place of her own, wanders into their town. She records them and their village with a light box, whose shadowy, gauzy photographs perfectly illustrates their fragile temporality. They and their town look like ghosts.
The original Portuguese title of this film roughly translates into “Stories that Only Exist When Remembered.” Luckily, and through photography and through the passing down of oral history, the citizens of Jutuomba will exist in someone’s memory.
Found Memories is a New Directors Prize Contender at the SFIFF.
Found Memories (Historias que so Existem Quando Lembradas). Dir. by Julia Murat. MPM Film et al., 2011. In Portuguese.