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Saturday, October 31

Any Other Day




Marysela Zamora is a beautiful, talented woman whom I met last year during a mutual fellowship in US. She is a journalist, a movie maker, and a civil society supporter in her interest to connect social media and digital resources and the people. She also writes poetry and blogs here: http://elblogdemarama.ticoblogger.com. During the orientation week, 50 people or so from all over the world had to mingle and make friends. In the middle of such a lovely crowd, we had to find people of similar experience and interests. Without any explanation, we found each other sharing about our mutual passions: writing, reading, movies, blogging, among other things. Four months later, we got reunited on a night cruise down the Potomac River, full of stories and already missing Boise and San Antonio.









Any Other Day, directed by my friend Marysela Zamora, is a short movie that captures the very idea of innocence. In a world that grows chaotically apart, where genuine feelings and emotions are filtered through different media channels that amputate the human spirit, two children live for the excitement of being alive. In the middle of nature, surrounded by long lost sounds and sensations, Fabiana and Sebastian embark on a new adventure every day. On this day, as usual as any other, they go into the wilderness to find Tutti's mother. Tutti is a bird Fabiana keeps in her tree house and whom Sebastian sees as the orphan in need of a mother. By the river, Fabiana starts playing among the stones, while Sebastian goes looking for any sign of childless bird. Time flows slowly, rain comes after sun, earth breathes along life, children dwell in their silences. When the quiet becomes too intense, they turn into roaring wolf-children, shouting their lungs out at all surrounding things. Tired, they spend moments on a row on the porch and before parting, they decide upon the part they are to play on the following day. They might be taking turns or Sebastian simply wants to be graceful and has the girl pick the word of the day: Superheros!




Cualquier Dia flows like a breath of fresh air, softly getting you inside the story. You marvel at the scenery, at the slowness of such a simple and rewarding existence, as if taking a peek into some long-lost paradise. The children's faces and movements speak more than their own voices: they are pure, unaltered by outside perils and temptations. They live to play alongside nature and you get this feeling of balance and unspoiled heaven. Yet, at the back of pretty images, civilization slowly crawls into this least explored place - a piece of cardboard, a cap, a modern word. Fabiana nurtures Tutti and tells it stories -a Little Red Riding Hood innocent version of how the hunter chased way the wolf which ran and ran and never returned to grandma's house. No dark side, a nice tale for a nice birdie. Yet, there is a scene in the movie where Fabiana burries something- we are left to guess. Is it Tutti that left the secured space inside Sebastian's cap and flew into danger? Is simply a child's play in the mud? It might be a grown-up's way of seeing or assuming danger when it is not even visible. Experience or lack of blind faith make the viewer somehow wary about how things unfold.



The movie made me think of the mysterious vanishing of Pobby and Dingan, a novel by Ben Rice in terms of innocence and make believe, the ardent need to feel that there is hope and candor in people and places. Also, there is a trace of a Momo, character in the book Mr. Ibrahim and the flowers of the Coran, breaking free from the prison of different institutions and beliefs, of tales we are told and stories we build inside and outside ourselves to survive.  Fabiana and Sebastian make their own little world, following their own little rituals and habits, games and pretense. The movie is either to be seen as a rite of passage or as the unseen pressure and ugly breath of the outside world, the mighty civilization that is bound to flaw and sour both Fabiana and Sebastian and their secluded little paradise. It is perhaps our own inner struggle to preserve any shred of authenticity against the uniformity of an outsiderness that strives to turn us into conventional beings. It is our little way of making our own pretty happy thespian ending to a rather heartless, cruel Grimmslike version of life. Either way, Any Other Day will give you a suspended moment of pondering upon the two-sided beauty of life. As for Marysela Zamora, I am certain her name is bound to stay with us in the challenging, expressive display of her talent.



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