Do we need to understand every word to shoot a sequence?
Mama Teresa was my favourite right from the beginning. She spoke a few Portuguese words but went on speaking to me in Changana, her local language. The energy she gave out seemed to allow me to understand what she was communicating. I have used translators in past situations but although we gain information through the translation, I often feel very frustrated because the attention, focus, keeps slipping from the character to the translator and part of me stops feeling the person that I’m filming. So I took the decision not to work with a translator and allow me to go with the feel of her and allow her to just talk to me, whenever she wants, knowing that I did not understand her. No doubt I will discover crucial details during editing and probably get kicked by my editor for not having followed some of the leads. But I ask myself: do we need to understand every word to shoot a sequence? Can’t we sometimes just work on the feel of it?
How do we film the invisible, the impalpable?
By forcing myself to film what I feel next to this woman, I look around and try to use my camera to capture light and images to translate and create meaning to those feelings/energy. I often try to reflect on how do we film the invisible, the impalpable?
It was a risk but something to play with during editing.