Chilean Cinema 2013 #9: Las mujeres del pasajero (2012)

(Chile 2012 45m) Fidocs+Cinépata Online

d Patricia Correa, Valentina Mac-Pherson c Denis Arqueros ed Catalina Marín

This is a translation of a review I did last year for this movie, this was part of my Chilean Cinema Survey that I started and I’m continuing here, this is a reprint because the film is having a run in cinemas here. This was originally seen at the FIDOCS online endeavour.

Sometimes one can’t but fall for the greatness of a shorter filmed work, wether it be a short or middle-length feature (in this particular case, the second), and it’s not because one expects less from these kind of films, but the contrary: one expects that in that short time they might be able not to tell a story,<but to create a special feeling, leave a nice taste in the mouth, something difficult to achieve for any director, script writer or artist of any kind. Now the thing is that this is even more rare when it comes to a middle-length chilean documentary, but this one achieves its perfection. Of course that if it only leaves one sensation it wouldn’t be enough to classify it as masterful, the thing about this documentary is that it meanders between different moments and feelings, through an erotization that may incite corporal reactions, a sadness because of the life of its protagonists, joy and laughter when they tell their stories, disgust when we discover certain visual details… and the sensation that we are spies, nosy buggers, that we are getting too much into the life of unknown that only seek privacy.

The documentary portrays the work that the people in charge of cleaning a passerby hotel, or more vulgarly called a motel, a place where any couple (and with the adecuate amount of money) can have a moment in private in a place with all the adecuate commodities to make the most beautiful act of life… of course, the presence of love in a place like this is debatable, and one can even write a theses on its inexistence, but this documentary is enough to make us see that in this world and this country there’s a bit of everything, and in only 45 minutes we manage to get a comprehension about the idiosincracy and the vast number of personalities and characters sexually active (or not) that can be encountered in the film, and all thanks to the special access that we have thanks to the dignified female workers that make an effort everyday, liking or not their job, liking or not the circumstances or the occurences that happen at their workplace. Through them we can reconstruct different kinds of acts, curious or creepy that occur between the walls and behind doors of the privacy of all the chilean people: drug addiction, lust, S&M, unfaithfulness and love, in spite of everything that’s happening around, sometimes there’s a true love that only has the possibility of expressing itself in a place like this. The workers are incredibly interesting subjects, with diverse attitudes and speech patterns, which also helps to support the discourse of the difference and quantity of multiplicities inside our world society, or in this case, the chilean society, that goes beyond the decissions we make or the color of our skin, but about what we like to do in the moment when we are more alone than ever.

As an anthropological document it triumphs exceptionally, because, as said before, we have a glimpse (even at times profound) to a facet that before had only been ridiculed by the damaged minds of entrepeneurs that only thrive for money like Rumpy or Boris Quercia (chilean directors), that picture sex as something funny and that simply looks for the excitation of the spectator, which in some way happens in this documentary in certain moments, but it’s second in importance in terms of the enormous quantity of  extra information that offers us. The best moments of the film occur when we turn into spies of that intimacy, listening through walls, looking at the feet of those who come in and out of the rooms, with long hallways, preciously framed. The interviews and stories of these women, showing us the characteristics of each one of them. As a documentary it’s great, as a piece of entertainment, even more, that’s how a documentary should be.

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