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"I see each film as a colour"

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Enrique Rivero • Director


- The third feature-length film by director Enrique Rivero, the co-production between Mexico and Spain Pozoamargo, is competing in the New Waves section of the Seville European Film Festival

Enrique Rivero  • Director

Enrique Rivero, the director of Parque vía and Never Die, is competing in the New Waves and Resistances sections of the Seville European Film Festival with his third feature-length film, Pozoamargo, a co-production shot in Mexico and La Mancha, in Spain. Cineuropa got the chance to speak to him about the film.

Cineuropa: Which parts of the film were shot in Mexico and which ones in Spain?
Enrique Rivero:
We divided the shoot between September and December last year: we shot the start and the scenes in the hospital in Mexico, and a few other sequences which in the end didn't make the cut and took place before the main character left everything behind and headed for the countryside. When it comes to editing, you end up sacrificing things you like, but it was important to allow the protagonist to move towards his hell and his breakdown.

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The film ends with the screen completely flooded with yellow while we hear the music of a traditional dance called a chotis
I always knew this film had to have that mustard yellow, which also appears prominently on the poster: I always think in colour when I create a movie. Parque vía was green and the second purple: films have those tones. Olga Ramos's chotis dance is the only music in the film: I was happy remembering it – it's like a homage to Madrid, where I was born. In the cinema I frequently see that music is very sensationalist, emphasising images and emotions, and even padding things out: I think if an image is powerful enough, it doesn't need it.

Half of Pozoamargo is filmed in colour, and the other half in black and white, but you hardly notice the transition…
Yes, it was a risk. We wanted to show the difference between the photography of the city and the photography of the countryside, to make it obvious. We shot a great deal in the countryside, but I began to feel the film was getting too long. I was conscious of seeming like a Mexican filming La Mancha: I don't feel as though the film is like a catalogue of curiosities – a kind of "Vicky Cristina Pozoamargo" – but I wanted to incorporate the landscape into the story because I think it is suited to that harshness, that climate and that violent kind of nature, although it doesn't seem that way, because everything is flat…

This script was written years ago… Why didn't you film it before?
Because when I started to study cinema, there was a huge fear in Spain: everyone told you that it's very difficult to film, and only the most well connected get to do it. I didn't think therefore that it was feasible to do it here. That's why I had the idea of a cheaper, simpler and more immediate story: Parque via, and in Mexico I found that everything was the opposite: energy, enthusiasm and a desire to do things. I met Paola Herrera there, a partner in my production company, Una Comunión, and later, quite naturally, we shot the second. Therefore it was about time we made Pozoamargo, in co-production with the Spanish company Zeitun Films.

Why do you think Spain is like that?
The industry here is quite rigid: the film-funding systems are complicated, tortuous, inaccessible… it's difficult to get into if you're on the outside; on the other hand, in Mexico, it has been democratised, with a good tax law, and whoever has a story and knocks on doors will be able to film.

(Translated from Spanish)

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