I wanted to make a film about desire.
After years of searching, everything began with a small book,
less than 50 pages long: The Malady of Death by Marguerite
Duras, about two people who love each other without being ready. Though
they don’t know how to love each other, they live this romance
by night and most of the time through their dreams. They don’t
do anything, they don’t make love. They are always in the darkness,
waiting for the other to say “I love you,” or “I desire
you,” but the words never pass their lips.
At each step the book exceeded me, it was beyond my intellectual understanding
of love; my illumination was mainly on an emotional level.
Thus, I felt compelled to make a film about love.
Years earlier, I had come across another Duras book called The Lover.
To be honest, the book didn’t excite me. It didn’t seem
revealing, like some other books I’d read in the past. The first
pages were confusing. I couldn’t understand the style of the writing;
it disappointed me terribly. I could have put the book down without
getting to the end and I’m sure I would never have returned to
it. Not only that, I wouldn’t have read another one. But I’m
glad I did finish it, for surely my life would have been different without
Duras at my side, in my head, in my whole body and especially in my
After finishing that first book I continued reading: Moderato Cantabile,
The Man Sitting in the Corridor, Practicalities. I was entranced
by the suffering, desperation, fear and fury in the lives of her characters.
Later on, I read The Ravishing of Lol Stein, La Douleur, India
Song, Emily L.
Marguerite Duras helped me to live—she was a true inspiration.
I discovered Blue Eyes, Black Hair and perhaps I projected
too much of my own problems and anguishes onto the work. The story of
two human beings who love each other but don’t have the courage
to recognize that there is something mysterious that unites them, something
that goes beyond the intellect and into the spiritual.
Reading her books helps me to carry on, to support my desires and not
to sink into bleak depression.
Now I have a film that is an intimate picture of a couple, a photograph
that places them in their reality, and shows us its dimensions and perspectives.
They are characters who wish, who desire to move towards a spiritual
intangible beyond the body, but for which sex is a perfect conduit.
Gerardo and Jonás, the protagonists of the film, slide through
silence exploring the hidden mysteries in each other’s flesh,
depending on each other in order to exist, feeling the confusion of
their lives together, experiencing their emotions turning upside-down,
growing and evolving.
Today, I know that love defies explanation because it is as subjective
as one’s individual experience. I wanted to believe that I had
found the solution, that I would take risks. But I find my doubts firmly
entrenched. I thought that at the right moment all of it would be clear
to me, but I discover myself sunk in the deepest anguish because I don’t
have any answers…only questions.
And all thanks to Marguerite Duras.