Monday, October 2, 2023

Endless memory, a love story in times of illness

The actress Paulina Urrutia and the journalist Augusto Góngora are in love. And although I touch on several other topics, this is the one that resonates with me the most The infinite memorythe new film by Maite Alberdi, which is currently showing in cinemas and gives us access to the couple’s privacy.

As in her other feature films, the documentary filmmaker creates a story by rearranging intimate passages in the lives of her characters. This time, recordings of the couple in the home they share are used as they battle the illness that afflicts them both.

Augusto was a prominent Chilean journalist who actively participated in the anti-regime media during the dictatorship to show the cruelest face of a reality hidden from Chileans. In The infinite memory He is a man with Alzheimer’s and from the first scene in which Paulina lovingly tells him who he is, we understand the advanced state of his decline that will lead to dementia.

We witness the couple’s routine as intruders in their home who should have no right to access that privacy. But Alberdi shows it and Paulina records it, and in every moment when the actress tries to calm her husband during episodes of disorientation and cries for help in the middle of the night, we witness the intensity of the pain he is suffering. And that’s what she does.

But also in every story that she patiently tells him, every time she assures him that she is there for him, every time she shaves and bathes him, they also make us witnesses of the love that exists between them. Although Augusto is not in his right mind, he is cheerful and smiling and Paulina is patient and dedicated. They look into each other’s eyes and through all the confusion, the one thing that is not in doubt is the love they have for each other.

It can be a little cheesy, and the film definitely aims to touch us (and it succeeds); But it doesn’t feel like manipulation, it’s in the moments where the camera stands still for a few minutes and just shows us the couple interacting The infinite memory Triumphs. Because it shows us something real, something ugly worn in the most beautiful way, rawness treated with kindness.

Furthermore, the overlap between the loss of the memory of Augustus and the problem that Chile has with its own historical memory is not denied. Through art, politics, theater and literature, the two protagonists have made their own contribution to keeping the memory of the horrors of the dictatorship alive. The infinite memory tries to combine the two Memorieswhich reminds us how stubborn we have to be to keep them alive, how easy and dangerous it is for them to escape.

For some it will be an unforgettable love story. For others, a heartbreaking reminder of the burden of illness. It can be frightening and moving. For it to be all of these things at the same time and just show two people who love each other very much seems impossible. But Paulina and Augusto turn the challenges into something endearing and worth seeing.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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