Director Carolina Jabor’s Liquid Truth (also known as Aos Teus Olhos) featured at the 53rd Annual Chicago International Film Festival, tells the story of a swim instructor who is accused of inappropriate behavior with a student. I sat down with Jabor to discuss the chemistry between director and lead actor Daniel de Oliveira (who had difficulty playing character “Rubens”) and the film’s open-ended conclusion.
Stephanie A. Taylor (SAT): How did you get the opportunity to direct the film Liquid Truth?
Carolina Jabor (CJ): I’m always looking for good projects to direct and film. I had finished my first feature and I was looking for another story. For me it is important to portray the reality of our contemporary world, so I was looking for stories based on life. When I read it I was very interested to discuss that social media issue. There is a friend who is a publisher and she was translating Spanish drama. I read it. I was looking for short films, films that I could do fast, that are set on one or two locations. I was looking for low-budget stories otherwise we would wait a lot to shoot.
SAT: How was it working together?
CJ: He’s amazing. I love that part of my work. It gives me so much pleasure to create. You need the complexity and you need to believe in each other. I think you have to create together, that character; that person you’re going to portray.
SAT: Was the ending implied to tease the audience or was it open to interpretation?
CJ: It’s an open ending. We are saying that in Portuguese the name of the film is called Through Your Eyes. It’s a way to let the audience decide. I released the film last week in Brazil. I had a Q&A. And I was very impressed with how people analyzed the characters. And, could understand the mother, the father, Rubens the instructor. I think for that reason we gave the audience the choice to think. There were a lot of interpretations that I was very impressed with.
SAT: Describe your experience while working on the film.
CJ: You give a lot to the process, you have to create another reality. You have to go deep in the story. You have a very short time and have to work double. I worked at night and in the morning. It’s a very beautiful thing to be related to with a film that you have respect with that story and with the characters. You have to be generous with the story. It’s a crazy thing. It’s almost like an army and you have to have a great crew.
SAT: How long did it take to shoot?
CJ: Three weeks. Amazing. It was very intense.
SAT: Have you had any backlash as a woman director, and if so how do you handle it?
CJ: Actually, I don’t think so. Not in specific situations. I’ve worked such a long time. So yes we struggle a lot, we fight a lot. I’m always working. I never stop to think ‘I’m suffering from sexism.’ You have to be stronger than a man, you have to believe in yourself.
© Stephanie A. Taylor (10/30/17) FF2 Media