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Film Scratches: Words Unsaid – Carta a Boris (Letter to Boris, 2015)

Boris2

Film Scratches focuses on the world of experimental and avant-garde film, especially as practiced by individual artists. It features a mixture of reviews, interviews, and essays.

A Review by David Finkelstein.

Carta a Boris is Pablo Molina Guerrero’s moving eight minute portrait of a childhood friend, apparently a suicide. During the film we read a letter, presented in subtitles, expressing thoughts Guerrero never managed to say to his friend. The footage is made of fragments of home videos, from a jumble of camera formats used over the last 15 years. Poignantly, the footage is frequently interrupted by a black frame with an error message such as a film editor might see on his computer: “Footage Missing.”

Boris3At first, the boy Boris seems very tightly integrated into a gang of artistic-minded friends who hang out together in high school and continue to be close as grown young men. There are hints that he suffers from depression and that he continually distances himself from the others, but his friends don’t pick up on the signals. Guerrero regrets that he wasn’t able to overtly express feelings of love for his friend, but how many young men are able to say such things to their male friends? With a thoughtful use of montage, and direct, heartfelt writing, Guerrero creates a powerful sense of the regret we can feel when we only realize our friends are in trouble when it is too late.

David Finkelstein is a filmmaker, musician, and critic. For more information on Film Scratches, or to submit an experimental film for review, contact lakeivan@earthlink.net.

Read also:

Film Scratches: Faking Your Childhood – A Stroll Down Sunflower Lane (2016)

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