viernes, 12 de febrero de 2010

Tracking Patagonia on Tour: Part 2 (Caleta Tortel)

In Caleta Tortel, we hold a screening in the local community center while rain pounds down on the roof. Children run back and forth restlessly across the gym floor while their parents watch patiently. A few groups of teenagers sit clustered in the bleachers, fascinated to watch as their tiny town is represented through foreign eyes.

We search for Jorge Arratia, the father of our dear friend Yoanni, a river guide who died in a kayaking accident a year after we filmed his interview. Yoanni’s death had added to the sense of urgency during post-production. The mission of returning the interview footage to his family became just as important as contributing to the dialogue about the dams.

Jorge is out in the woods for a few days logging cypress, but we finally catch up with him during our last day in town. He invites us in for a mate, and we find a pleasant surprise: an eleven-month old baby boy named Jorge Amaro. Eleven months old. He was born in the same month that Yoanni died. We sit together with the family, drinking mate and watching the documentary. When Yoanni appears on screen, I am not sure how they will react. Will there be tears? Should we have mentally prepared them for what they were about to see?

There are no tears. Jorge’s eyes shine with pride. Little Jorge Amaro is already walking and shuffles around between us. Perhaps he is seeing his big brother for the first time.

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