I owe mobility awareness to Fernando Martín Restelli. When I saw his short film «Merodeo» (Wandering) in 2017, I realized that our right to move, to migrate, to go from one point to another of the planet that belongs to all of us, extended to wandering through our cities and streets, through the spaces that give us identity, memory and a sense of belonging. With pleasure, I saw how the jury of the Panama Film Festival on Human Rights awarded him a diploma of honor.
A year later, I saw with satisfaction his first documentary feature, the beautiful film «Construcciones» (Constructions), which, in its skillful elaboration of real events in a frame that evokes fiction, overcomes the limitations of ethnographic cinema and enriches the genre with his proposal. The film can generate a wealth of praise among fellow critics, peppered with adjectives and interpretations. However, I am grateful and thankful for giving me access to both Restelli's personal world, and the protagonists' intimacy, the universe of people displaced by the news, who make that "small history" which becomes immense the moment when it becomes the object of art.
Precisely as he wandered around his city, in his search of identity, Fernando discovered his characters. He did not "give them the word", but shared it with them. Fernando Martín Restelli is not the sole creator, the author and the filmmaker, but the motor, the instigator, the friendly and loving hand that guides them, Pedro, Juan Pablo, Jesica and Lucas. They all show moments of light and life that tacitly talk a lot about the social and the economic, the playful and the mystical, about love, paternity, the challenge to scarcity, and build an audiovisual discourse of the first order.
Pedro is a guard in buildings under construction; Juan Pablo is his little son: they both have primarily each other, and the affection they generate in their relationships. Jesica is a young friend who takes care of the child, and Lucas, her companion who longs for his own home... And there are Kathy's hands, between the caress and the cigarette in the night, while the city sleeps and the hand of man alters the landscape. There are no statements, only true life and perhaps some reconstruction, to reinforce the sense of reality.
In addition to the photographic quality in the handling of light, framing and composition, the skillful way of dramatically structuring the accumulation of images, and the ability to suggest musicality that is perceived without listening, something else pleases me the most: the precise cutting, the correct duration of each shot, the good judgment to let us watch, infer and thus convert the experience into something that transcends the square of light.
Fernando Martín Restelli is not a promise. He is a certainty. Let us give him a great and deserved applause for his first feature.
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