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Interview: Nuria Giménez – My Mexican Bretzel | 2020 Intl. Film Festival Rotterdam

Challenging the personal-impersonal dichotomy of found footage, with an added spin on the notion of one’s own family heritage and what to do with it, Nuria Giménez crafts a bizarrely fascinating hybrid of fiction and documentary dealing with the addition (stories built on top of other stories) and subtraction (text instead of audio, unsaid instead of said) of language. My Mexican Bretzel repurposes footage shot by Giménez’ grandfather as a tale of 20th-century grand loftiness and deception, taking it in new, entirely fictitious directions which create a dialogue and a conflict with the perceived reality of the material.

The Spanish director is premiering the film, whose title she prefers not to explain, internationally at the Rotterdam Film Festival, in the Bright Future Competition. I sat down with her in the Netherlands to unpack the many layers of this brisk, swift piece of forged history, discussing her relationship with the material and the meaning of true and false in filmmaking.

A freelance film critic and programmer, Tommaso Tocci is based between Paris and Rome. He covers the European festival circuit and he's a member of FIPRESCI and the International Cinephile Society. His Top 3 for 2021: After Blue (Bertrand Mandico), Titane (Julia Ducournau), What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? (Alexandre Koberidze).

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