Today was the first day of CERO LATITUD film festival here in Quito, Ecuador. The first film I saw was VIAJO PORQUE PRECISO, VUELVO PORQUE TE AMO (2009), an experimental docufiction road movie from Brazil directed and written by Marcelo Gomes and Karim Aïnouz. Beautifully structured by a first-person narration by José Renato, a young geologist traveling alone, the film takes the viewer on a poetic journey across Brazil.
The question which quietly lingers throughout the film and which Jose keeps coming back to is: why does he have to travel? (The film's English title is: "I Travel Because I Have to, I Come Back Because I Love You"). As someone who travels frequently -often to the confusion of my hometown friends- this question resonated within me. Jose initially claims to be investigating the possibility of constructing a canal to transport water in Brazil, but as the film progresses, his reasons for departure become more personal and contradictory. The film periodically breaks off into documentary-style portraits of women and workers he meets on the road. These anecdotes never feel out of place. The synthesis of video and Super 8mm creates a textured collage of images that works both visually and structurally, to please the eye as well as provide transitions that move the story - or journey- along. Much credit goes to the editor Karen Harley and the script writers Gomes and Aïnouz, who successfully piece together a story that manages to move forward and yet also takes it time.