DEL OLVIDO AL NO ME ACUERDO / I FORGOT, I DON'T REMEMBER
A film by Juan Carlos Rulfo
Mexico, 1998, 75 min. In Spanish with English subtitles
Subjects: Anthropology, Latin American Studies, Mexico, Cultural Studies, Literature.
Made by the son of famed Mexican writer, Juan Rulfo, purports to be the son’s search for his father among the people who knew him. But as their memory betrays them, the film becomes a brooding reverie on love, memory, death, and old age. Despite the universality of its themes, the film is unequivocally based in Mexico – its people and its land – and it puts forward a model of a particularly Latin American avant-garde influenced by local tradition.
The film moves from the harsh and vertiginous beauty of the Mexican desert to the craggy faces of its elderly protagonists. Their meditations on life, love and death, their lovelorn old songs, dirty jokes and pronouncements on the madness of today’s youth and the power of the Virgin of Guadalupe, their half-forgotten memories of run-ins with the Devil, flying saucers and even Juan Rulfo provide the film’s thematic and philosophical center of gravity. But Rulfo does not merely recount or represent the memory loss of old age, his film recreates and in a certain way induces it in the viewer as narrative logic gives way to a more impressionistic flow of images and stories that blur past and present, country and city, natural and artificial, youth and age, reworking our consciousness of time and providing an unsettling yet tender look at the nature of consciousness at the twilight of life.
AWARDS & FESTIVALS:
OCIC Award - Special Mention - Guadalajara Mexican Film Festival 1999
Grand Coral- Third Prize - Havana Film Festival 1999
Montréal First Film Prize - Montréal World Film Festival 1999
Silver Ariel for Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best First Work, Best Sound - Ariel Awards, Mexico 2000
Nominated for Golden Ariel and Silver Ariel for Best Direction and Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen - Ariel Awards, Mexico 2000
Nominated for Goya Best Spanish Language Foreign Film - Goya Awards 2000
Golden Gate Award - San Francisco International Film Festival 2001
Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema 2000 - Official Selection
"Del Olvido Al No Me Acuerdo marked a turning point in Latin American documentary in 1999, and paved the way for a much more fluid and hybrid form of documentary filmmaking in Mexico. Ostensibly a documentary on the life of renowned Mexican author (and the filmmaker's father) Juan Rulfo, the stunningly photographed and seamlessly edited film by Juan Carlos Rulfo examines the construction of narrative and memory. In tracking down a village's elderly residents in search of first-hand memories of his father, the filmmaker instead captures the hopes, regrets, humor and resilience of these individuals, and interweaves them with the rich countryside of Jalisco, creating a lush landscape of memory." – Maria Christina Villaseñor, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
“This inspiring documentary full of humorous reminiscences and surprising revelations, is a mesmerizing investigation of identity and memory.” – Tate Modern, UK