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Home/Stories and articles/Recovery
April 2006
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Chilean documentaries:
Three women on a reality-recovery

The local field of documentaries seems specially strong in the works of Verónica Quense, Paola Castillo and Carmen Luz Parot. These three Chilean women are convinced that their search for images, sounds and words is a way for recovering memories that is urgent not to lose.

By Rosario Mena

Verónica Quense: Abandon's voice

Not the lack of places to show her work; not the zero interest shown by those TV stations that say to her "We only buy foreign documentaries"; not her work as a publicity photographer; not even her ten-year-old son have been an obstacle for Veronica Quense to drive her green truck and carry her camera to the most desolate places, looking for traces and testimonies that can help her build the audiovisual story that now obsesses her: violence against women.

"It's a national tragedy, for which the State has no answer. It's horrible to see the statistics of how many women die killed by their partners. The State just looks the other way. The poorest and youngest women are the most likely to be assassinated, because the system does not protect them. So this is a work in which I'm leaving my soul", says Quense.

Autonomy and independence sustain the audiovisual work of this publicity photographer. "I finance myself with photography, so I do not depend on external funding. I do not hire anybody. I do everything myself: filming, editing… So I don't really spend that much. And I can live on bread and cheese for a while if I need to", says this restless artist now living in San José de Maipo, from where she travels every day to Santiago. Besides photography and video, she's also worked on collage, poetry (she will soon publish her second book) and has a store that sells furniture made with old and native woods. Her production office has not just cameras, but also an editing and audio equipment.

Veronica studied at Santiago's Fotoarte school, and from still images she began working with movement with her first fiction short films: "El vuelo de Juana", "El sueño" and "El canto olvidado". Then came "El puerto" and "Desierta", her first full documentary, based on the lives of people from a small town in Spain, where she found half a dozen old men and women isolated and ignored. "It's a movie about abandonment, death, age. In Spain it caused quite a stir. What happens over there is the same that happens everywhere: people do not see what's closest to them".

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