Una Luna de Hierro
De Francisco Rodriguez film 2017, 28min
Everything begins lost in the waves. We make out
the setting sun, its pink and mauve reflections
colouring nearby water, calm, almost ideal. It’s
like the beginning of a melodrama, an idealised
image immediately disturbed by the deafening
noise of a boat’s motor that blankets the sea,
cancelling out any impression of tranquillity.
A word rises to the surface, coming from a barely
audible marine radio message: cadaver/cadavre.
Une luna de hierro hence opens with scrambling,
a mystery, a covering up. But also with the
discovery of what resurfaces, brought back by
the incessant movement of the waves.
Throughout the film, the landscapes of the Magallanes will fill up with the dead, reconstructing a scattered and multiple territory rather than events, through the tale of a news item in all the languages – legal or layman, administrative or storytelling, sung or silent – of which it is made up.
The ghosts which fill the film are those of four Chinese workers, who died at sea after jumping off a fishing boat in the hope of reaching Puntas Arenas, a Chilean city north of the Strait of Magellan. Birds have pecked out their eyes; their mobile phones, passports, computers and food were found. They were wearing lifejackets and yet their deaths were deemed a suicide. The inhabitants hence stand in front of their homes or on the pebble beaches to recount their version of events, children learn to read by deciphering newspapers or they recite and sing apocalyptic fables, telling of imaginary illnesses that would attack their jaws, and dreaming of an arc to harbour them, defying the wind to make their voices heard. History stammers and breaks down, the earth sweats and cadavers emerge. At the end of all possible paths, only impressions, directions, apparitions remain. We can no longer see, we can just make out the silhouette, the shadow of a man in the distance who undresses and merges with the splashes of colour of a fuzzy landscape, blurred by so much muted violence. A death is reflected in another, the territory spreads out and breaks into pieces, stories repeat themselves and drift towards silence or stupor, creating both a rhyme and an infinity, an unknowable.
Oeuvres de Francisco Rodriguez produites par Le Fresnoy :