The annual International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) starts on Wednesday, November 8. In the run-up to this, Villamedia viewed five documentaries that we would like to classify as ‘recommended’ for journalists. A viewing tip every working day until the start of the festival. Today: The Eternal Memory
Together, Paulina Urrutia and her husband Augusto Góngora watch the news footage of the misery in Chile in the 1970s and 1980s, under dictator Pinochet. Góngora was a well-known television journalist at the time and recorded many testimonies.
Now he suffers from Alzheimer’s and his wife tries to remind him every day of who he was. The two are followed in the documentary The Eternal Memory, directed by Maite Alberdi.
You see how Urrutia, actress and ex-Minister of Culture, lovingly sits down with him. While he looks questioningly, she tells him that she is his wife. That they have two children together and that they have been together for twenty years. Augusto is surprised. ‘No,’ he stammers. She continues quietly. That he is now in their room and that they have completely renovated the house together. Full of love and patience, she tries again and again to bring back his memories.
At first the images are soft and sweet, but when confusion sets in, the fear can be read more and more on Augusto’s face. Heartbreaking is a scene in which he looks in the mirror and doesn’t seem to know who the ‘other’ is. A moving portrait about love, decline and the impact Augusto had as a journalist.