Oh boy. Just when I thought we were winding down did we have a very eventful and intense day of shooting. It was our second to last one and I was able to capture three scenes or moments worthy of making it into the film (although not guaranteed). You might remember that I am happy when I get one daily.
First the long-awaited bath scene. How does Sujeylin wash her baby in the park? Images speak louder than words.
Then, after escaping for lunch, we came back and soon realized Sujeylin was back sniffing glue. I have to admit that I was VERY surprised by this little fact. As said yesterday, park life is sucking them back in, but faster than I could imagine. The day started bad for her: she woke up from getting a hit on the arm by Juan Carlos, supposedly because she hit his left arm – in her sleep? – which is the one recovering from a machete wound. So they were on bad terms again all day. She was in such a foul mood, that she probably gave in to the temptation to accept a small glass bottle of glue and forget about her pains for a while.
When she realized we had found out, which wasn’t hard since everyone was talking about it, I think she was quite embarrassed about it. I saw the glue once, but in her hand, and never saw her physically use it.
Then some evangelists came by to recruit for a new shelter they have opened. Seeing the baby, they were all over her right away (“come with us, we’ll take care of you, you have nothing to worry about” – that kind of thing) but Sujeylin said no. Very much in style with her personality. She enjoys the ultimate freedom of not having to answer to anyone.
After that, her friend Tanya (see picture above, the one on the right) asked if she could borrow the child for a while to go for a walk. I suspected they wanted to use it to go begging, but in fact they took it to a pharmacy to enquire about the price of powdered milk for baby Karla – given Sujeylin was back sniffing glue and shouldn’t be breast feeding. They were shocked at the cost, so returned quickly.
Finally, Sujeylin half admitted it had been a mistake, gave away her glue and (at least in her mind and momentarily) got back on track. By this time, the day was over. It would be dark in half an hour (which means the park becomes forbidden territory) and I had been invited to a concert this evening in the Dutch ambassador’s home, so we had to make a move anyway.
The concert was the Nicaraguan Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, partly made up of youngsters from very poor neighborhoods. It was quite good, and very nice to enjoy classical music in a relaxed setting in this overly noisy country.
Tomorrow is the final shooting day. Let’s hope there are no big surprises. In general though, I think it’s good not to be around the young couple for a few months. It’ll give them time to find more permanent solutions to their daily problems without there being a camera all the time. And the film needs this break as well.