As Sally Potter travels around the world with 'YES'
she is keeping a diary exclusively for this web site
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The Critic

The Rivera Murals

The Casa Azul


Festival Screening

The Trotsky Museum


Profound Mexico


Rain on canvas

The Jury

The Anthropological Museum


Political Correctness

Two Houses

False Virtue

Life is a miracle

Weird Roots

The Meeting

Turtles Can Fly

The Oscars

Luis Barragans house

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The Jury

Meanwhile, I am watching three films a day as part of my jury duty.  The selection is extremely interesting and genuinely international; films from countries including Bolivia, Chile, Israel, Mexico, Sweden, Denmark, China, South Korea, Afghanistan, Austria, and Iran; many of which I might not have been able to see had I not been on the jury.  But I am uneasy about the idea of competition: how can one film be set against another when the filmmakers’ intentions are so different?  How can a film which was made for next to nothing in excruciatingly difficult circumstances be compared to the relative ease of production of, say, a film like ‘Sideways’ (the only North American film in the competition)? Every film is difficult to make; there are untold struggles in its making that are incomprehensible to anyone outside the film business, but, even so, the struggles are relative.

In our early jury discussions I am uneasy with the readiness of judgment; I find myself defending films I don’t particularly like, just to go against the tide of quick criticism.  It is so tempting to trash a piece of work; but the pleasure of the lashing tongue is short-lived; it leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.  Ridicule is a low form of critique – the last refuge of those who think they ‘know’.  But my fellow jurors turn out to be a delightful and interesting mix; Guillermo Arriaga (screen writer, of Amores Perros, amongst other films); Michael Fitzgerald, (producer of ‘Wise Blood’, and ‘Color me Kubrick’); Maria Novaro, (director of ‘Danzon’;) and Jorge Blanco, much feared Mexican critic who I find warm and charming, not least, of course, because he likes my work.  (Later in the festival a filmmaker regales me, painfully, with tales of feeling persecuted by some of his acidic reviews; another example of the relativity of criticism.)

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Members of the jury

Text © Sally Potter. All pictures © Adventure Pictures unless otherwise indicated