I haven’t said much yet about Sujeylin’s current partner, Felix. He has kindly introduced her into their family home on the outskirts of Managua, but he’s not an easy guy to live with I think. They have a lot of fights and I believe that, if she had the means, Sujeylin would have left to go live somewhere else months ago.
Felix works and provides for his parents, Sujeylin, Karla and himself. He makes less than $150 a month. They have a house and a garden, kept by his retired parents. Inside the two-room house about 20% of the space is taken up by a pile of cement bricks, which Felix wants to use to build a separate room for him and Sujeylin. These bricks have been there for as long as I’ve come to the place, which is at least eight months.
Like I said, they fight a lot. Felix was raised in an extremely sexist way (his father is the same) and has certain ideas about Sujeylin’s duties as his “wife” which the latter doesn’t share. He also believes that it’s ok to hit your wife when necessary, adding to this that this wouldn’t happen if women wouldn’t give men reasons to do so. Although I always say that I don’t want to judge the characters of this film, you can imagine that I do have a few things to say about this particular issue.
The difficult thing is that it seems that we are becoming part of the problem. He doesn’t like it at all that we’re out and about filming with Sujeylin, when she should be at home washing his clothes, etc. What’s more, we buy her stuff (medicine, lunch, etc) which has made him suspect that there must be more that just the relationship subject-filmmaker (!). So, although he is welcoming and we can film in the house, at the same time it seems he is an extremely difficult person to be with, not in the least for Sujeylin. Who, by the way, resolves issues in her own classic way: with complete resignation to anything, aggravating the issue even more, while dreaming of a better world for herself and her girls.