June 02, 2013

Found Memories (2011)

Found Memories (2011)
Directed by: Julia Murat
Country: Brazil / others

Review: Presented with brushstrokes of intimacy and evincing a nostalgic depth that slowly shakes us inside, “Found Memories” can be seen as a kind of fictional documentary about Jotuomba, a remote Brazilian village that is slowly disappearing as its remaining 11 elderly inhabitants are dying. Simultaneously, it depicts the beautiful story of friendship between Madalena, an old woman responsible for making the bread for the village, and Rita, a young photographer who appeared asking for shelter for a couple of days. The film starts showing the monotonous day-to-day life of the villagers. Madalena makes her bread at night, barely illuminated by an oil lamp; every morning she takes the bread to Antonio’s coffee shop, where they have the same quarrel about putting the bread on the shelves; after cleaning the locked cemetery gates, she attends Mass and then shares a meal with all the villagers. Little by little, Rita’s presence will make this ritual more tolerable for them, provoking uncanny sensations of trust and moments of joy that seemed to be forgotten for many years. In its silences, “Found Memories” is a sweet, melancholic, and rewarding piece of filmmaking, which didn’t need more than a few simplistic processes and passionate candidness to captivate. In the end, Júlia Murat’s reflective debut left us with the question: ‘where do we belong?’.

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