:: Synopsis ::
'Sueño con una tarde de verano' is the story is of an aspiring photographer, Gloria, who after meeting English traveller Andrew, sees the opportunity to leave Madrid and her smothering, strictly religious family for a new life and career London. On the morning she’s due to leave, a piece of shattering news about her older sister means that she is faced with the decision of giving up on the freedom that she has dreamed of since childhood...
:: Director’s note ::
This film is largely an experiment. In a literal sense, it is a bilingual short film. In reality, the bulk of the film is in Spanish, thus linguistically “shutting out” anyone who does not speak that language (including myself). The only elements of the film which are subtitled in English are those sentences which have already been spoken in English or those that will be later in the film. Thus, they provide narrative context and anchors rather than detailed content.
During my time in Madrid, I discovered the Spanish language to be rich and beautiful. I was grateful for the opportunity to learn some aspects of it and, even more so, to work across two languages to create this short film. For people who speak Spanish fluently (either those from Spain or other Spanish-speaking countries or those who have learned the language), the film is a more traditional piece of short cinema. That is, there are no linguistic barriers, on the whole, except where Gloria speaks, briefly, in English.
My idea for the piece is to attempt to reflect the sensation of living in a different country without advanced language skills. In this space, you seek to find other ways to communicate. You are also reduced, in part, to the role of an amateur spectator of that which is going on around you. This experience, though, is not as isolating or as frustrating as may first be imagined. It is, I found, incredibly enriching and bewitching and I discovered it to be fascinating just how much can be gathered and understood in other, non-linguistic ways, when communicating is vital to well-being and social survival.
I found working with Judith on the translation endlessly fascinating. It's far from an exact science and, of course, Spanish contains as many nuances and particularities and peculiarities as English. It's strangely pleasing that even the title of this film isn't an exact translation: Sueno con una tarde de verano precisely means "I dream of a summer afternoon" though the usage of "night" here is conversationally correct.
I’m curious to know if the narrative in 'Sueño...' is clear and carries through even to people who are not fluent in Spanish; to see if there’s an emotional connection, despite the distance of different words. I had considered another version of the film, where the English is taken out and the whole thing subtitled. This may happen at some point in the future. But, for now, I hope you enjoy the film.