Monday, August 2, 2010
Making Villa Del Sueno
Filming this, as of now, incomplete film has so far been an interesting, educational and sometimes exhausting experience. A friend first took me to the large slum that most of this was filmed in and I was introduced to a guy who ran a radio station out of his house. I started spending time with the people who were a part of both the radio station and sports programs that help steer kids away from crime and I became friends with them. Being able to spend more time in the villa (slum), I met other people and made more friends and eventually came to know some of the criminal element as well. I don't want the film to focus on the criminal element, because society misunderstands the people living in these areas and people think they are all criminals when in reality only 10% or so are involved in criminal activities. Most of the people living in these neighborhoods are hard working people who would like to save enough money to leave the villa. Many came from even poorer backgrounds and have found a life of relative prosperity living in the cities' shantytowns.
The villas aren't as dangerous as everyone thinks. Almost anyone can walk in there and nothing will happen, but if you are entering it with something valuable then it can be dangerous. People will likely rob you of your valuables. So naturally, making a film can be difficult because people want to steal the camera. When I was taking my camera in, I always had to meet a friend and be accompanied by friends when filming. This made things hard because some of my friends lived way in the back of the villa, and if I wanted to go meet them and film something I had to coordinate with someone to go with me instead of just walking there myself. Without the camera, it's a different story. I was spending enough time there that I was comfortable walking around by myself inside. This is something that people living in Buenos Aires, the mainstream, normal society think is impossible, especially for a foreigner with blond hair.