A conversation with Giulia Angrisani


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A transcript of the conversation between Jānis Ābele and the director Giulia Angrisani on April 29 after the screening of a film Terra in Vista.

Giulia Angrisani: I was also a seasonal worker for 5 years. I'm a little bit of a nomad, but now I'm based in Bruxelles and waiting for a new adventure. It was also an incredible moment in my life. I learned a lot about myself. For us this film was more about existential condition.

We met some people during the working time, some came just for the film, but in the end it was a deep sharing experience. The film was not written because it is like a circular and unpredictable life. When we started with the group, we just had an idea about this topic and the people agreed to try to make this film together. I'm an anthropologist so for me in the end the most important thing was the relationship between us.

We shot for a year and returned to Bruxelles with 80 hours of footage. The group worked together, an incredible collective experience. From my point of you the collective is nothing without an individual. We shot the protagonists so close, because it happened organically. We learned together about the life, also together with the camera. For us it was a revolutionary moment, like it was for our protagonists. We learned to be fine with the camera so near, step by step. This is a fictional documentary with episodes of improvisation used for the sake of general context. This shooting method is the best for me, I can feel myself present and involved. We were at the camp, we bought a trailer, and we organized our life at the camp by collectively participating. For me shooting like this is the only way to recognize the film was made as a collaboration.

The editing was so complex and a passionate process, especially with the producers who were enthusiastic at first but in the end despite a lot of footage, they didn't really see a story in it. The editing took a year and half. Me and Mattia made the editing. Mattia mostly works as an editor. The narration in our mind, the unique elements are individual moments that tie to sensorial power. We were safe because we shot two or three lines of a narration. In the end the film is anti-narration because it defies the classical elements of narration, it's about a cyclical life that doesn't really go anywhere.

It was important for us to finish with the wind, since it was such an important element, and poetic. We started editing the footage by following each protagonist, and in the end we could find connections between the scenes. At the very end of the editing, we shared the footage with Rudy, a Belgian editor, and I think he understood the feel of this film, so he helped us do the final cut of the editing. We were so attached to some scenes, but Rudy said they should be taken off. The connection between the scenes was fluid in the end, but it took a lot of time and we felt a bit lost quite often. The producer was surprised that we had an actual story at the end of the process.

Transcript by: Djahane Zaïr

Published: 09.05.2023.

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