Paraguay Remembered Screen 85 of 5 reviews

Paraguay Remembered

2015

Paraguay Remembered Poster
  • Dubosc’s voice-over ruminations recall the great filmic essays of Chris Marker as they unspool an interwoven personal and political history. What distinguishes Dubosc within this tradition is his insistence that the processes of memory and filmmaking are similarly joined together, each leading to the other as if on a Möbius strip.

  • The French documentarian Dominique Dubosc is a secret too well kept... The memory-piece aspect of his latest film, “Paraguay Remembered” (its original title is the more evocative “Memoria Desmemoriada,” or “Forgetful Memory”), may therefore be elusive for those who see its North American theatrical debut. That’s a shame, because this quiet movie, shot in black-and-white and color, is an unhurried, beautiful, and pained work that through simple means resonates on various levels.

  • Like most great essay films, Paraguay Remembered is driven by associations not just with art works with which it shares a kinship, but a stream-of-conscious relationship between word and image. Dubosc's stitching of visuals and narration is akin to a psycho-analytic game where the patient surrenders to the poesis of whatever comes to mind, without calculation or shame.

  • Cinema as both a tool of and commentary on memory propel Dubosc, especially as he becomes aware of his subjectivity complicating his audience’s objectivity—black and white scenes of the street corners, lifelong friends, and the landscapes seen in his early works, which only occasionally switch to color, demonstrate the difficulty of looking upon the familiar in a purely present gaze.

  • Based on his latest effort, Paraguay Remembered, I would definitely place Dubosc on the "subjects for future study" list, although this isn't a work I can wholeheartedly embrace. What starts out as a somewhat ethnographically-inclined, structuralist essay film eventually becomes a bit too mired in Dubosc's own personal reverie, which is a problem under the circumstances.