International Film Festival Manhattan Virtual Events 2020

Shorts Program 1 Senior and Parent Issues

Expired November 23, 2020 4:59 AM
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Luz is a little girl who shows a clear nursing vocation after her father's fateful accident. With the strong desire to feel again in the arms of her dad, Luz will create around her father's limited life a universe, giving hope to their lives, until one day, everything stops.

Director's Statement:

With "Sentir tus brazos rotos" (To Feel Your Broken Arms), I come back to childhood and its traumas, a theme already treated in my previous shorts as "El mundo tan pequeñito" (Such a small world) and "Indios y vaqueros" (Cowboys and Indians). I wanted to talk about the strength of a girl's love for her father and the difference in communication between adults and children. The protagonist, Luz, suffers the absence of the father figure and I wanted to talk about this injury and its impact on a life, often generating subsequent ambivalent attitudes in professional and personal life. I observed that in the face of a traumatic event, some children seem to integrate the new situation naturally, while for others it is more difficult. Is it related to the close relationship with the hospitalized patient? Or for the answers provided by adults? Whatever the cause that prevents a normal relationship from being restored, if the injury is not taken care of, the trauma can have an important exponential that accompanies the minor during the rest of his life. I developed the character of Luz, in this phase of affliction and isolation. The story is built around a barely visible main character. I wanted to limit the appearance of the main character to the minimum by keeping it excluded from almost all the scenes and to play on its trace, the manifestation of its existence through the others. I wanted to give him a physical invisibility but a presence at any time, through the objects, photos, details, giving strength and mystery to the character. An active character but in the shadows. This is how Luz lives since the day of the accident. She lives in the shadow of her father, until the day when death will free them. The girl, the main character of the story, exists, but it does not seem to exist in this adult world. I wanted to reflect the exclusion of the character as a consequence of the communication established by adults in a traumatic situation. I think adults underestimate children's understanding, and in a traumatic situation, adults often try to reduce the impact with simplistic explanations or infantilizing language. The fear of seeing the child suffer leads many parents to overprotect. Avoiding answers is already a form of overprotection. Whatever the reason, the consequence is often a break in communication. Adults take children away, often causing feelings of sadness and helplessness. In my childhood, incommunicability between adults and children was the standard. I remember another significant moment that nourished this story: my mother was about to die due to a failure of her immune system. I was just a little girl. My father could not take care of us because of his work and my brothers and I were separated and put away from our hospitalized mother. We lived temporarily in different family homes. I have vague images of this time, but I remember this separation as a painful moment of misunderstanding. This separation between adults and children, between listening and not listening, is the source of the exclusion of the character of Luz. I wanted to explore this situation, this state of loneliness. In “Sentir tus brazos rotos”, adult characters decide that Fernando has lost all hope of listening and communicating. On the other hand, a solitary child seems to have found a way to communicate with his father. Fantasy or reality? While nurses engage in daily conversations without proper listening, a girl, although physically absent, actively communicates with her father through a bird and the objects surrounding it. In front of the incomprehension of the adults and the vegetative state of his father, Luz takes refuge in the garden of the hospital and makes there its secret place. She has found a way to communicate with her father and will keep this way of contact. It's also his way of keeping hope. I wanted to explore the creative and imaginative universe of children, and how it is used to deal with traumatic events that take place in childhood and that fall beyond a child's comprehension, such as not having a normal dad. Children have an innate ability to naturalize things that they might find difficult to understand, sometimes creating, in order to survive, a universe parallel to that of adults. The daily work of nurses interrupts a deep communication and beyond words, to give way to a more superficial and poor communication. There are a thousand ways to listen, I wanted to put forward the deep listening, which creates and transforms. This listening that unites a tetraplegic father to his daughter is subtle and vital. As a counterbalance, the Página 3 nurses have a tedious and tense conversation in which each one keeps their positions, stepping on the words of the other without a real search for understanding and without listening to what is happening around them. I wanted to make visible different forms of listening and communication. The antagonistic scene of the nurses interrupts the exchange between Fernando and the messenger of Luz and confronts two poles: that of the adults and that of the children. To put these two worlds in disagreement, these situations of listening and not listening, I propose two parallel stories: a main one that unites two protagonists (Fernando and the bird) to our main character, Luz, and a secondary story, with the antagonistic characters of the nurses. The first one is placed in the structural line of the subtext and the second in the text. The main story is revealed at the end of the short film when we finally discover the main character’s situation in time and place. Unlike secondary history, the central story does not contain any dialogue, circulates in the under layer, under the structural line of the second narrative, which is, on the contrary, visible, explicit and written in the form of dialogue.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    14 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
  • Director
    Emilia Ruiz
  • Cast
    Joaquín Daniel, Anna Moliner, Sonia Sobrino & Rakel Ezpeleta