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Hot Docs 2021 Women Directors: Meet Maria Carolina Telles – “You Are Not a Soldier”

Maria Carolina Telles is a showrunner, director, screenwriter, and journalist. Telles is thought for creating and directing the docu actuality collection “Reto Imposible” for Natgeo Latin America, the docuseries “Brasil de Imigrantes” for Historical past Channel, and TV documentary “The Reality Beneath the Lie” for ELO Firm. She has supervised over 40 productions for Discovery Networks and directed and formatted applications for Disney, FOX, Turner, Rede Globo, Rede File, Bandeirantes TV, and SBT similar to “Large Brother Brasil,” “Rio Ink,” and “Restricted Space.”

“You Are Not a Soldier” is screening on the 2021 Scorching Docs Canadian Worldwide Documentary Movie Competition, which takes place April 29-Might 9. The fest is digital this 12 months as a consequence of COVID-19. Streaming is geo-blocked to Canada.

W&H: Describe the movie for us in your individual phrases.

MCT: It’s my very own feminine gaze on the cyclical life expertise of André Liohn as a person, an unbiased conflict photographer, a father, and a son.

For me, it introduced reflections on this assembly place of the female and the masculine below the advanced train of paternity. I don’t know if a person would do that very same search.

W&H: What drew you to this story?

MCT: That is the period of a large misinformation, a phenomenon that may be a symptom of the systematic suppression of data. At a time of profound political and social disaster in my nation Brazil, I imagine this can be very essential to additionally put money into productions and make a accountable exhibition of what’s behind the scenes of data manufacturing. That’s investing in transparency.

Data and safety of journalism is a crucial modern “weapon” within the battle that can defend democracy. The whole lot begins with the knowledge we now have out there. The better the suppression of the manufacturing of dedicated and professional content material, the better the house for the circulation of propaganda and misinformation. And that is the place the central artery of our movie lies.

It’s a movie in regards to the remoted expertise and lifetime of an unbiased Brazilian conflict photojournalist as a way to show the open veins of journalism as a device for freedom, democracy, and peace.

W&H: What would you like folks to consider after they watch the movie?

MCT: Above all, that is an anti-war movie. As an alternative of making an attempt to see the conflict via an heroic standpoint, with winners and losers, or via the troopers eyes, I’ve tried to convey anti-war messages via a character-driven expertise of an info collector, a photojournalist, and a non combatant, displaying that conflict is hell.

I imagine that a robust anti-war movie could make us pause and mirror extra deeply on conflict’s horrific nature, and the senselessness of all of it. It’s my humble reverence to life, love, household, and peace. I’d say a survival cautionary story.

W&H: What was the most important problem in making the movie?

MCT: To start with of this manufacturing, I used to be struggling to be robust at my father’s facet in his terminal moments. He was lucid. Embracing the tip of his life in a really elegant manner. He gave me power to maintain on doing what I needed to do and requested me to see a few of Liohn’s footage. I used to be confused, and didn’t need to present him all this disappointment in that very second. However I made a decision to point out him some particular motion sequences. It provoked a return to his reminiscences on the second World Warfare, so he and I had the time to revisit his younger years collectively, and that was crucial expertise that I confronted by his facet in his final days.

He instructed me once more, as he did it many instances throughout my life, how he use to cover his expeditionary uniform from my grandmother, convincing her that he weren’t about to hitch the allies in Italy and the way he obtained pissed off because the conflict ended earlier than he obtained to the frontlines. He actually wished to go and instructed me that was his solely frustration in life as he was a whole and completely happy man having a stupendous life expertise surrounded by all this love and fantastic and robust girls like me, my daughter, my sister from his first marriage, and my mother. I used to be stunned and deeply touched to listen to it at that second.

It was a really intense and difficult interval of my life, deeply painful. Aleksei Abib, the scriptwriter, felt that it will be fantastic to specific it in our movie as a result of it had a real connection to what have been doing and our strategy. We have been upsetting one another alongside a number of conferences. I lastly agree with him and felt like telling the story to my father. In the long run, I imagine that was additionally a possibility to point out him in some way how lucky he was as he by no means seen the blood, the hate, and the odor of loss of life within the warzones, and the way lucky he was to reside nearly to his 100 years.

In the long run it is usually my message to him on how price it it’s to be a father. I by no means had his reply on the outcome, however I think about I might have his gratitude and blessing if he have been alive right now.

W&H: What impressed you to develop into a filmmaker?

MCT: There’s a sequence of information that introduced me right here. I grew up and weaved all my life expertise impressed by motion pictures, science, music, literature, nature, and larger-than-life characters. I imagine this visceral have to get to locations and to entry completely different universes via an embedded and visceral strategy took me to journalism, after which to nonfiction and documentary.

W&H: What’s the perfect and worst recommendation you’ve obtained?

MCT: Finest recommendation: Should not have a dogmatic strategy to aesthetics and storytelling.

The worst? Don’t play in boys land. By no means paid consideration to that one.

W&H: What recommendation do you could have for different girls administrators?

MCT: Acknowledge and navigate bias.

I imagine that we now have to problem ourselves to maneuver round and to impress ourselves to depart the borders that divide genders. I imagine that we now have to embrace this deep dive. Take your credit score. Take credit score in your work. Don’t settle for any restrict. Stand for what you imagine proudly and loud. Be fearless. Negotiate. Advocate for you and for different girls.

W&H: Title your favourite woman-directed movie and why.

MCT: Wow, that’s very exhausting to decide on. A number of the most excellent and exquisite movies of all-time are directed by girls! Throughout my years in London, I used to be deeply related with the work of Trinh T. Minh-ha, a Vietnamese filmmaker. Extra not too long ago, Nadine Labaki’s “Capernaum,” Ava DuVernay’s “13th,” Marguerite Duras’ ” India Track,” Sofia Coppola’s “Misplaced in Translation,” Petra Costa’s “Elena,” Mira Nair’s “Salaam Bombay!,” Kira Muratova’s “The Asthenic Syndrome,” and Jane Campion’s “The Piano” and “An Angel At My Desk.”

Right this moment I’d go for” American Psycho” by Mary Harron. Harron has all the time been this director with an attention-grabbing type of expressing her feminism. She refuses to suit into any ideological framework, and explores tales about psychopaths and outcasts with out making an attempt to elucidate, justify, or condemn their conduct.

I believe “American Psycho” was forward of its time, and all of those themes have develop into so essential within the years since, particularly given the curiosity in male anti-heroes and poisonous masculinity.

W&H: How are you adjusting to life throughout the COVID-19 pandemic? Are you conserving inventive, and in that case, how?

MCT: I’d say that I’m conserving the sentinel quite than a inventive course of, as my nation has develop into a worldwide epicenter of the outbreak. Brazil is in a interval of chaos by design. It’s essential to remember going through as much as Bolsonaro’s coverage of loss of life. We’re being subjected to a horrific results of a structural denialism and much proper extremist Propaganda.

W&H: The movie trade has a protracted historical past of underrepresenting folks of colour onscreen and behind the scenes and reinforcing — and creating — unfavourable stereotypes. What actions do you assume have to be taken to make Hollywood and/or the doc world extra inclusive?

MCT: It’s time to enable storytellers to share tales from the attitude of a lived expertise quite than a studio fabrication. I’d say that there should be a turning level to the endless white male lens to a type of “multifaceted lens”: multi race, multi language, and multi style experiences colliding to one another make attention-grabbing movies.

We should not proceed creating range clones of what’s already there. We now have to pay attention. To study. To take the following step. We now have all to face up by making a tradition the place bias, stereotypes, and racism are unacceptable, the place everybody really feel protected working and represented.

Media traditionally depicts stereotypical representations for folks of colour and girls, whether or not via Hollywood or on the information. The identical bias go for Muslims, Asians, Latinos, and LGBTQ populations. There isn’t a extra place for that.

Humanity is that this lovely myriad and seeing oneself on display screen is essential as society is just not monolithic.


Edward J Cameron
Edward J Cameron
Freelance organizer. Gamer. Social media specialist. blog reader. Thinker.


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