Along my filmography I have been finding certain details that define a way of understanding film creation on my own terms. One of them has to do with building the narration around a female character.
The male character in cinema has been, traditionally, a person who wanted to change a situation, who wanted to achieve something, to save the world… that is, he followed a developmental arc in order to get something that was “out there”. In this context, the female character was simply a female companion to the hero, be it as a helper or as a road mate, or even in sexual roles. Even in many film works in which the main character is a woman, she appears to be a copy of a man, condemned to go over male behaviours, or shown under a male lens.
Nevertheless, when the main character is essentially female the psychology of the whole movie changes. Now the main character, instead of trying to change something outside of herself as her maximum goal, starts her road from self-negation in order to reach self-affirmation. She wants to change herself, asserting her own human values and basing her acts on them. Her victory will be a victory over herself, and over the roles and stereotypes the outside world imposes on her.
In this sense, thus understood the female character, I consider her much more human than the traditional male character, and in this way she helps me define a work space much more friendly in which to explore the personality of others and my own. All things considered, working with female characters helps me research human identity in film.
Watch "Aitziber in the Tunnel" official trailer:
For the short film “Aitziber in the tunnel” I decided to go one step beyond and make a movie in which all characters were women. Aitziber, the main character played by Lide Martínez-Abalgar, starts looking for an explanation to what happens “outside”, but she soon turns this questioning onto herself. The short story, thus devoid of gender tensions, allowed me to deepen with more intensity on the eternal questions all human beings -both men and women- ask ourselves during our brief earthly existences.
- Written by Karlos Alastruey, director of "Aitziber in the Tunnel"