I haven’t written for a while. Truth is, we were on holiday. To France. We were having top notch family time, frolicking in rivers, taking in pure mountain oxygen, eating the most amazing dishes, visiting castles… that kind of thing. Meanwhile and unknown to me, the story of my documentary took another dramatic turn. Probably the biggest to date.
Both the producer and the social worker in Nicaragua wrote to me explaining the state of affairs. It seems that Sujeylin’s return to the park hasn’t done her much good, that she’s back to using and selling drugs and might even be prostituting herself. The quality of care for Karla has diminished dramatically. My producer even suggested calling the country’s social services in order to take the baby from her.
That surely caused that final holiday buzz to disappear quickly. Back to work, Koen! I first checked on flights and made a preliminary reservation for this Sunday. Then I called Martha Clarissa, the producer in Nicaragua, and we spoke for about 15 minutes about the next few days. On Friday we will decide whether it is necessary for me to travel or not.
Why would I go? Because this is a major turn in the story. Other than police officers showing up, Juan Carlos disappearing, etc, this is a true change of where the storyline was going so far. Sujeylin was well on her way to convince herself of ways to leave the park. She had (has?) serious plans. So what happened? In order to cover this well, rather than a local guy doing a morning of shooting, it requires several days (10?) of observation taking into account the vision and objectives of the project. That’s where I come in 😉 .
So yeah, we do have a local backup cameraman in case of emergencies, but this feels both urgent and very important. I’m going to let it sink in, keep talking to my people on the other side of the Atlantic, and eventually decide the way I always have: by instinct. In my heart I am already packing my bags.
I feel like a ping-pong ball though. One day I’m visiting the caves where Roquefort cheese matures, or the Airbus A380 factory in Toulouse, the next my entire being is again completely focused on people forced to live in extreme poverty. It’s a strange emotional contrast.