This session inside the series Intervals, which fosters the screening and presentation of current films, focuses on Carolina Astudillo’s film Ainhoa, yo no soy esa (Ainhoa, That’s Not Me), one of the foremost documentary essays of 2018. The film weaves a personal, intimate narrative between characters and specific moments in 1990s Spain, connecting the coetaneous situation in Chile through the stories of three women: Ainhoa Mata, the main character, Carolina Astudillo, the film director, and Isabel Cadenas Cañón, the writer friend.
Ainhoa, That’s Not Me reconstructs a deceased life to build a counter-chronicle of a recent period in Spain’s history by way of a filmic reading and narrative of family archive and the personal diaries of the person portrayed. Ainhoa Mata Juanicotena is a young woman who committed suicide at just 34 in 2006, leaving behind an ostensible life of excess, partying and wild abandon, yet also one of profound insecurity and disillusionment with society. Her diaries reveal the ambiguity between the public and private side of the main character: in the former, she is seen actively participating in the counterculture movements of the time – a member of the radical rock scene in the Basque country, and inspiring the character “La vasca” (the Basque girl) in the underground comic El víbora (published from 1979 to 2005); in the latter, her frailty and despair seep through from the roles – wife, mother – imposed by society. Among this ambivalence, Ainhoa, That’s Not Me manages to capture the sign of a time, in the fledgling years of democracy in Spain, marked by the tension between enthusiasm and disappointment, between wild abandon and emptiness, thus offering an alternative version to official accounts through a woman’s testimony and contradictory experience.
The film is as much a feminist and subjective counter-history as a conversation between three women reflecting on the construction of memory in two post-dictatorship periods (Spain and Chile, Carolina Astudillo’s native country), and the nagging disillusionment in these three lives, symptomatic of an era.
Carolina Astudillo is a film-maker and journalist who has worked in the fields of historical research, documentary and writing, her central themes focusing on women and historical memory. She holds a degree in Film Studies from Universidad Católica de Chile and an MA in Creative Documentary Practice from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. She has directed the films De monstruos y faldas (2008), Lo indecible (2012) and El deseo de la civilización: Notas para El gran vuelo (2014), which won Best Documentary at the Málaga Film Festival. As a teacher, she has given courses and seminars on documentary, film theory and found footage at the University of Santiago, Chile, and the Chileno-Británica de Cultura University, and in Barcelona at La Casa del Cine and Escola de Cinema, among other institutions.
Isabel Cadenas Cañón is a writer and a journalist. She has published the poetry books Irse (Vitruvio, 2010) and También eso era el verano (Difácil, 2015). She collaborates with the newspapers La Marea and eldiario.es. She holds a PhD in cultural studies from New York University. She is one of the three women whose memory informs the film Ainhoa, yo no soy esa [Ainhoa, That’s Not Me].
Sabatini Building, Auditorium – 7pm
Carolina Astudillo. Ainhoa, That’s Not Me
Spain, digital archive, 2018, colour, original version, 98’
Session 1. Thursday, 24 January. With introduction and q&a by Isabel Cadenas Cañón
Session 2. Saturday, 26 January. With introduction and q&a by Carolina Astudillo