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Andrea Jaurrieta • Director of Nina

"Women are expected to direct small, intimate films"


- The Spanish filmmaker presents her second film, a modern revenge western starring Patricia López Arnaiz and peppered with film references

Andrea Jaurrieta • Director of Nina
(© Alex Zea/Festival de Málaga)

Ana by Day [+see also:
film review
film profile
was the title of Andrea Jaurrieta's first feature film, and another woman's name, Nina [+see also:
film review
interview: Andrea Jaurrieta
film profile
, names her second film, which is up for the Golden Biznaga at Malaga Film Festival, next to whose cathedral we spoke to its director.

Cineuropa: Nina is seen in two timelines. Was it easy to structure the script in this way?
Andrea Jaurrieta:
I wrote it in two colours so that I didn't have to split the scenes because there were a lot of crossovers in the same space... My approach was that space makes us go into the timeline. Then I wrote the present tense in black ink and the past in blue in an attempt to explain the story. I don't know if it worked or not because the broadcasters were very hesitant to buy it, as it cost me a lot to finance.

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Speaking of colours, red has a strong presence in this film.
The film plays in that league and the red symbolises blood, poachers and religion. I was also interested in using pure colours, from the credits to the dresses worn by the protagonist, a symbol of the wound she carries deep inside her.

A trauma from which it is impossible to escape, because it remains tattooed on the soul.
Yes, traumas are always there and at certain moments they reappear. The rotating light of the lighthouse in the film is also a symbol of this. There is always a play with light in the film, alluding to that trauma that never goes away.

You’ve defined your second full-length film as a spiral that traps you.
That’s right! The film starts off in a linear fashion and gradually delves into the deepest and darkest memories of its protagonist, and from there Nina is reborn.

What made you want to tell this story?
I had read Chekhov's The Seagull, and I liked the atmospheres and the characters of the play of the same name by José Ramón Fernández on which the film is based. But I felt an unconscious vindication when I realised that its protagonists returned to the village in love and forgave their abusers. But in my imagination that wasn’t possible and this woman goes back, but for revenge.

Nina's topic is highly relevant and topical.
It was a coincidence, as I’ve been with the project for four and a half years. I guess the issue is in the air. We’ve started to talk about it, it’s a moment of explosion and things are coming to light that nobody would want, that need to be condemned.

The film also criticises the social system, which permits, hides and looks the other way.
Of course, we all participated in this and that's why it has been perpetuated, because it was considered normal. We’ve all been taught that men with power were the desirable ones. We’ve been structured in our heads to make this happen, but it's over.

Is Nina a mix of revenge movie and western?
It also has a bit of drama. With Ana by Day a distributor told us that he didn't know what genre it was and I almost replied, "genres are dead, long live genres!” I think we are at a time when audiovisuals are not so closed and for me the main references were westerns and Hitchcock, especially Vertigo.

It seems like if you shoot a genre film you have to justify yourself.
Absolutely! As if it was for minorities and I don't agree. I don't know why there is this fear. It’s also hard to fit genre cinema into festivals. In the seventies there was a lot of genre cinema and now a more naturalistic cinema is in vogue. Women are supposed to direct small, intimate films.

Here we go with the labels again!
I can't cope with them! And we’re grouped together. Yesterday I was associated with the film from the day before because both feature women with shotguns. Whatever you do, you’ll be lumped together. Well, we just have to keep moving forward and making things, although getting the budget is difficult.

You’re also a producer: need or impulse?
Ana by Day was produced by me and Iván Luis. And then we founded Lasai Producciones, which was a way to be present during the whole development process. This is how I can control my project. I can't imagine directing alone, but in all phases; I'm super-active, I like to work like that and I don't know how to delegate.

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(Translated from Spanish by Vicky York)

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