“Since I was born I have heard the legends, songs and stories of the Alentejo. All of them, known and said by heart.
“Fang Xiuying is the mother of a good friend of mine. I was going to make a documentary about her in 2015, but it was postponed because I was too busy at the time. In 2016, the friend called to tell me that her mother’s illness had grown severe, and she might not live very long.
Individuals wait, silence is heard, a microscopic attention through a tired mass. If the film is almost mute, it is because it focuses on silent figures, although their struggle is deafening.
“Early on, I decided that the premise and structure for the film would be the Ouroboros: the symbol of the snake eating its tail, a perpetual cycle of destruction and renewal, in order to ask the open ended question of whether forgetting was the way forward or the way that we destroy ourselves.
“I have been classed as a director of short work. When I watch films by Bruce Baillie, Peter Hutton, or Agnès Varda, though, I never think that they made short films as the form is generally understood.
“Combining archives of May 1968, amateur films showing the crushing of the Prague Spring that same year and the tourist images of his mother’s trip to China in the year of the Cultural Revolution, João Moreira Salles questions the posterity of the most intense moments of history, be they official
“Zo veel lagen staan tussen de kunstenaar en de echte berg in: de foto’s op de eerste plaats, stuk voor stuk overtuigd van hun eigen weergave maar zelf onderhevig aan de geschiedenis van de fotografie.
“In Hong’s bittersweet sonatas, typically composed of multiple movements, repeated figures and modulating motives, any relationship or situation is susceptible to variability: there can always be another version, another chance, another time.
“‘The specter of its own end haunts Europe,’ we are told, adding that this isn’t a normal end but ‘an endless ending.’ It’s a good point, given that nine years on from 2008, Portugal apparently still hasn’t crawled out of the massive hole caused by the crisis and the imposed austerity measures th
Tremor is driven by the voices that run through it – the voices of poets and madmen, of a mother or a child. From reflexive thought to spontaneous account, from witness statement to fiction, in turn they talk about their experience of violence and war.