CAPTIVITY

CATIVEIRO

By André GIL MATA

ANDRÉ GIL MATA (INDEPENDENT) - as PROD

First film - Completed 2012

To be captive is to be confined, both in space and in time. The captive one is not only and necessarily a prisoner, but becomes an inherent part of that space, his identity being continually projected on it.

    • Year of production
    • 2012
    • Genres
    • First film, Documentary
    • Countries
    • PORTUGAL
    • Languages
    • PORTUGUESE
    • Duration
    • 64 mn
    • Director(s)
    • André GIL MATA
    • Writer(s)
    • André GIL MATA
    • Producer(s)
    • André GIL MATA, Joana GUSMÃO
    • Synopsis
    • To be captive is to be confined, both in space and in time. The captive one is not only and necessarily a prisoner, but becomes an inherent part of that space, his identity being continually projected on it. The captivity space itself is in turn not inert; it is rather characterized by whomever it contains, it is shaped by that experience.
      Alzira was born, raised and lived her entire 91 years of life in the same house, in the city of São João da Madeira, in the north of Portugal. Her life experiences are inseparable from the house’s walls and objects. Her memory is part of that particular place, which thus becomes an immense space of intimacy.
      The film attempts to capture the relationship of mutual construction between this woman and this space, a construction performed by the time lived there. Time is what makes that house, that space, transcend its geometry and becomes the shelter of her recollections, of her memories, and of the wanderings of her mind.
      “Captivity” is thus a film about the time that belongs to memory, indelibly written within a space. Alzira is “grandmother”, therefore the director/grandson shares that memory, not only because of the time he physically spent in that house but also because of the memories of his grandmother’s life that she narrated to him which thus became his own memories. He has been included in that space. In this regard, the quest of the film is also an inner quest, the grandmother’s house, traditionally a space of proximity and comfort, becomes a source of restlessness. The space that is naturally familiar is now thought of in terms of light and shadow, sound and silence, movement and repose, color and absence. It is by means of the material nature of the house – herein reconstructed by the image – that the film attempts to reach the immaterial quality of time, the movement of time. Because the time of memory is not limited to the biographic location or the linearity of the past, the time of memory is the present time, at times a dilated time, at times a suspended, crystallized time. Alzira’s routine is the house’s routine: the sunrise seen from the kitchen, the awakening, bath,
      meals, Irene and Julieta’s chores and nursing, and the time to go to sleep. Every day the same.
      The question arises: does the repetition means that the things remain the same?
      The interaction between grandmother and grandson, formerly direct, must now be mediated.
      Intimacy, however, seems to dominate the camera, to choose the composition, to dictate the
      rhythm of the film, to conduct the capture of the images. “Cage” is a film about affection.
      A reflection about time. A time that is permanent and a transformation - fluxus. A time that is not immune to time’s flow. It is commonplace that time passes. And time passes within the process of the film, inside and outside of it. The object of study becomes its subject. It is possible to think of time, to represent it, to save it in photograms and souvenirs and memories, maybe to predict it, but it is never possible to control it. Everything becomes small when faced with time, everything becomes weak when faced with time. But what are spaces without the people that belong to them?
      “Captivity” is a film about a smile that can’t be repeated.
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