Entrevue avec Leonardo Sette (« The Hyperwomen »)

Vous pourrez découvrir dès demain vendredi le documentaire The Hyperwomen, de Carlos Fausto, Leonardo Sette et Takuma Kuikuro, sur un spectaculaire festival de danse et de chant – uniquement exécuté par des femmes – dans la tribu des Kuikuros au Brésil. Leonardo Sette nous raconte cette expérience de tournage étonnante.

RIDM: Can you tell us about the collaboration between you and the two other directors of the film? You all have very different backgrounds, how did you get to know each other and how did you work together?

Leonardo Sette : We met in 2002 in the Kuikuro village in Xingu when the three of us took part in a video workshop promoted by a Brazilian non profit project named Video nas Aldeias (Video in the Villages), whose goal is to support native filmmakers in producing their own media. Carlos Fausto, professor in anthropology at the Federal University in Rio, had been researching among the Kuikuro for a few years at that point. I’d never been seriously related to indigenous cultures myself, I was studying and starting to work in cinema and had simply been invited to collaborate with the project sharing filmmaking skills in the workshops. Takumã was by far, since the beginning, the most enthusiastic and talented of the youngsters that were selected by the Kuikuro leaders to participate.

‪Did the people of the village get involved in the creative process of the film? If so, in what way?

Certainly. I really see this film as a result of a ten-year relationship that involved maturing the notion of making a film, especially to ‪the Kuikuro people. The notion of playing their own roles in front of the camera, I mean, there is obviously a lot of spontaneity in the way they relate to the camera, and that comes very much from the fact that it’s Takuma himself or his brother and cousin who are filming all the time, not myself or Carlos, that is, the people you see in the film are his own mother, grandfather, uncle, sister… But I’m quite sure that throughout the years they became very aware of how to perform their own role to the camera, let’s say, in a more fictional fashion (there is a lot of acting I think), still it’s acting your own self, your own daily actions and routine.

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What inspired you to tell that story?

The idea of a film around the women and the oral transmission of the Jamurikumalu chants came basically from Carlos, who is fluent in the Kuikuro language and has a very established friendly relationship with the village and its people. We all knew how wonderful and charismatic the women were, but they had only played a secondary role in the first two short films produced before. This was certainly due to the fact that it is a strongly patriarchal society, in which many men have two or even three wives, the women get up before sunrise to prepare food, take care of the children, they work hard, while the men spend a lot of time talking politics or watching the youth play soccer sitting on a bench around the men’s house, in which women cannot enter. So every one was excited to do something a bit different, especially themselves, I think you can feel that when seeing the film.