PERFECT HAPPINESS

ZORION PERFEKTUA

PAUSOKA - as PROD

Drama - Completed 2008


    • Year of production
    • 2008
    • Genres
    • Drama
    • Countries
    • SPAIN
    • Languages
    • SPANISH
    • Synopsis
    • “Without conscience we would be animals, full of something like perfect happiness”. Perti
      AINHOA, a woman of about thirty-five, shocked by the news she has just read in the paper, is run over in a street in central Barcelona. After awakening from a coma caused by the accident, and when things appear to finally come to a happy ending, she becomes aware that one of her hands is seriously impaired, which would totally thwart everything she has fought for, a successful career as a pianist.
      SARA, her friend and agent, does everything she can to alleviate her friend’s suffering, which is more painful than physical pain. AINHOA, obsessed with her artistic career, has never been able to convey her feelings, is cold and detached in love, perhaps there is something in her past that would explain her difficulties to relate to others, to love and to be loved. However, she does not talk about herself, or allow anyone to know her inner self.
      After several romantic failures, a few months before the accident AINHOA had met IMANOL, a young security guard who, despite his social background, seemed to fill her existential void. The usual tensions and problems that typically threaten a relationship were overcome by a devotion AINHOA had never before been able to offer.
      However, one day, AINHOA finds out that IMANOL not only knows her past, but has a very close connection with the secret that AINHOA so staunchly wished to keep and preserve. It is something that happened in the past, and which AINHOA’s parents, who have travelled from the Basque Country to take care of her, have always endeavoured to hide and which was the reason why they sent AINHOA to Barcelona under the pretext of undertaking piano studies, to protect her from the dark menace of a hostile environment.
      Eventually, IMANOL keeping quiet about what he knows about her, and the suspicion that she has been used by the security guard for something far removed from their romance, puts an end to a relationship into which, for the first time in her life, AINHOA had put all her hopes. For the first time, she becomes aware of the burden that the memory of a tragedy she witnessed has imposed on her; she does not know how much she has been affected by the realisation, at such an early age, that hidden behind the appearance of a certain perfect happiness that society tries to preserve, is always a renunciation of freedom.
      Parallel to the story of AINHOA’s musical successes and romantic failures, we flash back and see her twenty years younger: she is just a teenage girl who combines her high school studies with private piano lessons.
      One afternoon, AINHOA is heading home, when, out of the blue, she witnesses a terrorist assassination by ETA. Some shots, the victim falls to the ground, the sound of footsteps moving away, seagulls fleeing the scene, scared. Everything happens so quickly that AINHOA is unable to react. She stares at the victim, blood flowing from his mouth, his hands trying to cling to life. She hears sirens approaching, people begin to crowd around, a press photographer turns up at the scene …
      AINHOA is still in shock from witnessing the assassination. When the attending police officers insist that she leaves the scene of the crime, the young girl is ready to obey mechanically, when, suddenly, the photographer takes a photo of her as she takes one last look at the dead man.
      The teenage girl returns home. Her mother, unaware of the tragedy her daughter has just been through, scolds her for being late. The contrast between the daughter’s pain and the mother’s everyday-life reaction will mark the tone of a story in which AINHOA, in the twenty-four hours after the murder, will have the opportunity to see for herself the collusion, prejudices, concessions, silence and complicity of her environment —family, friends, school…— towards the violence, and the profound changes that are taking place inside her after witnessing the shooting.
      As far as her parents are concerned, their only purpose after the assassination is to ensure the tragedy does not affect their daughter, nobody must know that she was a witness to the crime, people should not hassle her, least of all the police or the press: the fact that neither the information reported nor the footage shown in the late TV news mentions the young girl’s presence at the crime scene, and the circumstance that the dead man was merely a dark character that dealt in drugs, reassures the parents. But not AINHOA, who for the first time in her life, starts to become aware of the perversions of language that twist and conceal the true meaning of violence.
      However, the photograph of the young girl staring at the victim, splashed across the front page of newspapers the following morning, will shatter the parents’ plans. The police question the girl, the press harasses her, her school friends play down the incident, the terrorists weave a shadowy network of threats to keep AINHOA quiet...
      The young girl embarks on an initiation process in which the suffering she has been through will intensify her critical conscience of what minute by minute she observes and experiences. This critical conscience will unravel her parents’ ethical mediocrity; the actions of the police, more concerned with keeping up the appearance of social normalcy than with prosecuting the crime; education understood as an institution to maintain the status quo and not to improve it; a press that fosters moral cynicism to increase sales... Only Perti, her high school chemistry teacher, an alcoholic shunned by everyone, will be her clear moral reference in the hours after the crime.
      All of these concurring circumstances —parents, police, press and school— and the incongruities arising from them will converge at the victim’s funeral. Only the victim’s closest relatives are present. Among them, a child about ten years old, son of the victim, who AINHOA, twenty years later, will meet again as IMANOL.
      Meanwhile, and in contrast with the sense of solitude that accompanies the victim, shouts can be heard coming from a demonstration demanding the immediate release of the two young men who have just been arrested as the alleged perpetrators of the shooting...
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