“Reas”: where everything is real and everything is fantasy | Lola Arias’ film premieres this Saturday at the Cultural San Martín

“Reas”: where everything is real and everything is fantasy | Lola Arias’ film premieres this Saturday at the Cultural San Martín
“Reas”: where everything is real and everything is fantasy | Lola Arias’ film premieres this Saturday at the Cultural San Martín

REAS 8 points

(Argentina/Switzerland/Germany, 2024)

Direction and script: Lola Arias.

Duration: 82 minutes.

Performers: Yoseli Arias, Ignacio Amador Rodriguez, Estefy Harcastle, Carla Canteros, Noelia LaDiosa.

Premiere exclusively at El Cultural San Martín.

“When I was writing the film and also during rehearsals, our biggest danger was ‘prison realism.’ Our film could not be one of those series that stigmatize people, that turn prison into a spectacle of violence.” The words of the playwright, theater director and filmmaker Lola Ariaspublished in Page 12 on the occasion of the premiere of his second feature film in the last Berlin Festival, they shoot against a clear formal and ethical enemy: the generic stories of “tumbaro” dramas that have become a contemporary audiovisual genre, with their codes, iconography and native clichés. Nothing could be further from it than Reasa film that (re)uses the benefits of an almost extinct cinematographic territory, the musical, to build a wildly idiosyncratic but, at the same time, easily recognizable universe.

As in his previous film-theatrical diptych, composed of the film theater of war and the work Minefieldboth starring Malvinas veterans from both sides, Reas and the piece that accompanies it on the boards, The days outside, are independent but complementary creations. The same cast of non-professional actors (or non-actors) take the stage and inhabit the screen: a group of cis women and trans men and women, in all cases people who spent several years in the Ezeiza prison, reconstructing with the weapons of imagination their life stories and also their hopes. At the base of everything is Arias’ fascination with “documentary theatre”, which is based on flesh-and-blood human beings and the strictest realities for the construction of dramaturgy and staging. In Reas everything is real and everything is fantasywhile the girls and some boys rehearse dances in the prison yard, tell vital memories from the other side of the walls and dream of trips abroad, when the time of the sentence is a thing of the past.

Reas begins when Yoseli (Yoseli Arias), whose shoulder has a tattoo of the Eiffel Tower, enters jail after being detained at the airport with several kilos of drugs in her suitcase. Yoseli will begin to meet her new neighbors, such as Nacho (Ignacio Amador Rodríguez), a trans man with whom she quickly establishes a close bond, and other girls who are part of a rock band. Prison rock, paraphrasing the famous Elvis song, an instance of enjoyment and freedom between the thickest bars. The prison guards also live there, rude women who, however, can break down internally during a secret. Lola Arias transforms an abandoned prison, where Reas was filmed in its entirety, on an authentic film set that is also a stage (the connection with the theatrical is very strong in the director’s two films), breaking the slippery concept of “realism”, as any Hollywood musical did. classic, even in its “backstage” aspect.

Beyond Arias’ absolute control over the artistic raw material, it is evident that in Reasas was already the case in theater of war, The concept of collaboration, the constant back and forth between director and cast throughout the creative process, is essential to the results.. It couldn’t be any other way: the transformation from actor to character here requires immense mutual trust. Ultimately, and beyond the stories of pain and violence that are intuited or made explicit behind the creatures (each character has his moment of review of the past), Reas It couldn’t be a brighter film., supported by a photograph of pop tones by Martín Benchimol. Luminous and even festive, since Arias does not allow darkness to take possession of the prison space or the bodies of the inmates. Reas It is catharsis and exorcism, genuine therapeutic art.

Reas It is exhibited at El Cultural San Martín on Saturday, May 18 at 6 and 8 p.m., on Sunday the 19th at 6 p.m. and on Sunday the 26th at 4 and 6 p.m.

The play The days outside It has performances from Wednesday to Sunday at 8 p.m. at the Presidente Alvear Theater.

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