In couple of days Monica Lăzurean-Gorgan (from 9th to 13th August) will travel around Slovakia with KineDok and show her film A mere breath (Doar o răsuflare) to the Slovak audience in Banská Štiavnica (10.8. – 4 elements), Považská Bystrica (11.8. – Cooltajner) and Ružomberok (12.8. – Galéria Ľudovíta Fullu).
Monica is an experienced producer, with over 10 years of international co-productions. Among the titles of films she produced or co-produced, there are: Chuck Norris vs communism by Ilinca Calugareanu, A mere breath, awarded in five international film festivals, selected in many prestigious festivals and special screenings, Domestic by Adrian Sitaru, Best intentions by Adrian Sitaru, winner of Best Director in Locarno 2011, Adalbert’s dream by Gabriel Achim, The Cage by Adrian Sitaru, with over 20 awards including an award in Berlinale 2010, Touch me not by Adina Pintilie, project awarded with main production support in Torino Film Lab 2012, ARTE award in Cinemart, a selection for Cannes 2012 at Atelier Cinefondation, 5 countries co-production. Recently Monica is co-producing and co-directing the feature length documentary Green, green, green (wood), about illegal logging, based on her idea. Monica is an EAVE 2011graduate, “Producer on the Move” at Cannes IFF 2012 and EFA member.
Eva:A Mere Breath has been your debute as a director. Why did you decide to transform this particular story into the film?
Monica: In 2009 I was shooting in central Transylvania in the heart of Romania, in the most poluted village in Europe. It was in the time when they close the factory which caused the polution. I met the family there which lost their job becouse of closing the factory. I decided to stay shooting with them for more seven years because i was intrigued by the contradictions within the family, contradictions which are natural for all of us humans. The father of the family wanted the factore to be reopened even though it effected their health a lot. He was at the same time very religious and he believed in the miracle, that his daughter will get healthy and she will stand up from the wheel chair and walk. So there where are many contradictions and moral dilemas within and this is what I´m mainly interested in as a director – contradictions of human nature.
Eva: Mere breath looks like strictly observational film. Is it so? Or did you also stage some parts of the story?
Monica: I did staged, I’m not afraid of that, as I don’t believe there is a strict border line between documentary and fiction. When I was hanging around with the family, without the camera parson, I saw things that were not going to happen when a camera was around. So I recreated some scenes because I believed they were beautiful or helping the story.
Eva: There are two main contexts that influence life of the family in your film. Religion and economic/industrial situation in their home town. Does religion play any role in your professional life and in the way you think about films?
Monica: In my professional life? No. I prefer to see films and think about them with open heart and open mind. Sometimes religion is, against odds, closing our minds and limits us. When religion, in its pure theory suppose to open the hearts and minds of people, it is doing the opposite. For some of us, at least. For some others, legion is the salvation key. They find comfort and healing power in it. It is interesting to see what we can do with the power of our mind!
Eva: How does the story of the family continue after the end of the film?
Monica: Denisa is ok, her kidneys are being observed closely by a doctor, otherwise, she is ok. Father is working in another factory in a town nearby. Angelo is hanging around with his gang. The niece is growing and bringing joy to the grandparents now.
Eva: What do you think about KineDok and where and how do you find documentary as important film commodity?
Monica: KineDok is a very important structure, with a brilliant idea of developing alternative places and ways of seeing a documentary. Yes, is a great perspective in our days, when documentaries needs to reach a wider audience.
(This article has been originaly published in Kinecko.)