Dinner with ¿Me vas a gritar?
An interview with Laura Herrero Garvin, director of ¿Me vas a gritar?
Why were you interested in picturing female wrestlers?
Majo Siscar, the co-writer, and I were so interested in talking about the social pressure on women. We are both from Spain and we had been living in Mexico for around 8 years. There we had experienced several machismo situations but also women’s power and resistance. In lucha libre, the audience has a special power of action, they are the third player, making pressure to wrestlers through their screams and opinions. And lucha libre wrestlers always focus on the rival and on what the audience is screaming. We were interested in picturing female wrestlers to do a parallelism between the social pressure towards women and the audience pressure to lucha libre fighters. And working with Melissa was amazing because she really transforms herself when she enters the ring.
How much were you interested in denouncing violence towards women and do you plan further projects on this subject?
Most of my documentary work has been about issues of violence against women, identity, resistance, alliances… I always try to be close to the characters and above all not to victimize women. I am currently finishing editing my next feature, La Mami, a documentary that takes place in Mexico City, inside the mythical Barba Azul (Bluebeard) Cabaret, where the women of the night gather in an ebb and flow of emotions. And every day, La Mami, the caretaker of the women’s restroom, offers them much needed advice and comfort to combat their crude macho reality. This documentary reminds that alliances are a key element in facing adversity and of course is made from the point of view of women.
Do you like women’s sport in general?
I do not watch sport at all, but for Melissa, the main character of ¿Me vas a gritar?, sport is the most important thing in her life.
Did you create ¿Me vas a gritar? as a whole or could it be part of a larger film?
No, I always thought of it as a short film.
How did you work with the main actress to build up the sense of frustration?
As a documentary filmmaker working with real characters, I always think you have to spend time, talk, be silent, play, coexist with your characters. And then the most important subjects will be built up. In this case, frustration is something in Melissa’s life, since she is trying to define what she wants to be in life confronting what her parents want and her own reality.
Would you say that the short film format has given you any particular freedom?
I think so, features are done in a long period of time, when you make a short it can be compact. And it makes the process more intensive and free. In my professional career, I have made short films in 48 hours, in 72 hours including editing, I love to do that. It can be more of a reaction than a reflection, but you always keep the intensity during the process.
¿Me vas a gritar? was shown in International Competition.