The big challenge

Today I went back to see Ines to talk to her some more. Alberto came along with me – the Spanish producer who has lived here for 8 years – so he could meet her. It’s him and the people from MOJOCA that have to keep in touch with her, and report back on how things are going.

Even though I am very happy to have found what seems to be a perfect character for the film, there are still a few very fragile elements to it. One is that, to date, I don’t really have an alternative. What if Ines decides to leave the street and move back in with her father? What if she decides to move to one of the shelters? Again: better for her probably, but not good for the film.

Another issue is the date of the birth. She told me that the doctor said it would happen between 15 Oct and 5 Nov. That seems a pretty wide date range, but Ines is a moderate drug user and the birth of her child may well come sooner.

One great thing we spoke about today is that she wants to go and present the baby to her father whom she hasn’t seen in 1,5 years, and in the seven years she’s been on the street only a few times. I told her we could go together, an idea she seemed to like. A reunion of father and daughter would make a terrific scene in the film. That is, if her father still lives in the city. Last the MOJOCA people heard he was planning on moving to El Salvador.

This film is going to be full of surprises. When we made The Endless Caravan, I also researched for a long time and then wrote a pretty elaborate script. The film turned out 95% like the script! In this case, I doubt we will be able to plan much. Things change from one moment to the next, and flexibility and adaptability are key words here. It is the way I have approached this third visit to Guatemala, and it seems to have worked…

In other news, considering tomorrow is my last day here, I went out to buy some presents for my three girls. Ah yes, and yesterday I met the composer, which was a very good meeting as well. He may be the right guy. Am still listening to some CD’s he gave me.

A thought: Roberto, the owner of the local production company, invited Alberto and myself to a pretty hefty sushi-session for lunch. Right after that, the visit with Ines and her group took place. The sushi was still swimming in my belly and leaving me with that distinct feeling of a truly unequal world. No doubt we could have fed the whole 10-headed group of street kids for a few days with what we spent on the sushi for the three of us. But what’s it gonna be? Dried noodles in an old paint can, or sushi, for everyone???

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