Wonderful. The smell of books that meet you, when you enter the Altaïr Bookshop on Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes. You go downstairs to smell and have the best coffee in Barcelona together with film directors, whose films are in the programme of DocsBarcelona 2016. They are here for this noon intimate arrangement made by the charismatic owner of the place.
The filmmakers were Léa Rinaldi (”Esto es lo que hay” from Cuba), Marcela Zamora (”El cuarto de los huesos” from El Salvador), Pieter van Eecker (”Samuel in the Clouds” from Bolivia) and German Kral (”The Last Tango” from Argentina). I attended the introduction by the directors with clips from their films and enjoy to know that – apart from the tough documentary from El Salvador – they all have and have had theatrical release with quite a success. German Kral told me that 44.000 tickets had been sold in Germany for his film. Wow!
And then to the cinema to sit next to Maria Teresa Larrain in a cinema, where her ”Shadow Girl” had its second screening at the festival, where she pitched the film a couple of years ago. The film is strong and emotional in its description of how Maria Teresa grows blind, a film that is without sentimentality but full of reflections on what it means to become blind. She meets blind street vendors, she shows the film to them and it is said that the worst thing about getting blind is to lose your dignity. Maria Teresa does not, she is a role model of great courage in a film that has a clever personal text from her and a visual flow of colours. It must have a long festival life and come on broadcasters, this is also for you, or for us television viewers!