Excerpt of the B side of Retiro ( 9:00min, total length 40 minutes)
Three-Channel Film with sound
Retiro is a multimedia documentary and performance project that reconstructs memories of the director’s mother through interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and reenactments performed by the director herself, allowing for an intimate exploration of memory, ancestral inheritance, and the process of aging in women.
After her grandmother’s death, Lassalle-Morillo decided to interview her mother, 62 at the time, about her process of grieving, her daily life, her memories growing up in Puerto Rico, but most importantly, about the transformation her body was undergoing at this age and her outlook on the future. After several months of interviews, Lassalle-Morillo and her mother decided to make a film together. Gloria had total narrative and dramaturgical authorship of the script since the film’s focus was not its veracity, but rather how Gloria decided to remember and rewrite this memory. Gloria also had authority on the design, stylistic and casting choices of this film. This being said, she decided to cast the artist, a former actor turned documentarist and director, in the role of young Gloria in this rescripting of her life. Through Lassalle-Morillo’s embodiment of her mother’s memory, Gloria was able to witness and abstract the narrative of her biography in order to realign her relationship to her past.
Due to the political and social landscape of Puerto Rico, Lassalle-Morillo had to leave the island, which affected the production and editing process of her mother’s film. During these five years, Lassalle-Morillo returned to Puerto Rico constantly to work on this film, continuing to document the collaborative process of editing the film her mother wrote and directed. During this period, her mother also underwent two surgeries, which directly affected the narrative focus of their process , as the artist then decided to continue interviewing her mother throughout her process of recovery. This peripheral history that took place simultaneously to the filmmaking process is focal part of this project, and manifests in the fragmented nature of the editing, but also on how space, territory, geopolitics and non-linear time functions in this film.
Moreover, this iteration of Retiro focuses on the attempt of making this film, the amalgamation of experiences that surrounded this five-year process, and Gloria and Lassalle-Morillo’s collaboration in the violent shifting of their family’s inherited traumas and ancestral history.