18 November 2010
Posthumous homage to Christian Poveda in Madrid
The journalist, murdered last year in El Salvador, was honored this Wednesday (November 17) in Madrid with the screening of La Vida Loca (The Crazy Life), his last documentary, which sought, according to the producer, to find humanity in inhumanity through an account of the life of the members of the Mara 18 street gang in the San Salvador suburbs.
The journalist, murdered last year in El Salvador, was honored this Wednesday (November 17) in Madrid with the screening of La Vida Loca (The Crazy Life), his last documentary, which sought, according to the producer, to find humanity in inhumanity through an account of the life of the members of the Mara 18 street gang in the San Salvador suburbs. The producer of the film, Carole Solive, said in an interview that Povedas decision to make the documentary was not an irresponsible or lightweight act, as with his experience as a war correspondent he knew the risks of making an audiovisual report on the street gangs in El Salvador. That is why Christian spent three years preparing to make this documentary, said Solive, who added that it was more than a year after it was shown at the San Sebastian film festival that Poveda was killed in the town of Rosario, 10 miles from San Salvador, on September 2, 2009. This is a misfortune, but Christian made the film that he wanted to make, a direct, true and anthropological movie, said the owner of the production house La Femme Endormie (The Sleeping Woman). According to Solive, who spoke with the journalist just three hours before he was murdered, he was horrified that death could come to have such a banal sense and that is why he extended his hand to the members of the gang, which came to feel very close as individuals. Nevertheless, sometimes when one enters these worlds it is difficult to come out of them, the Frenchwoman said. About the documentary on the street gangs Poveda was a war correspondent in El Salvador in the 1980s and 20 years later went back to the Central American country to film both the Salvatrucha gang and the Mara 18 gang, the two main opposing gangs in the suburbs of the El Salvador capital city. It was from those photos that he had the idea of making a film, explained Solive, for whom Povedas stay in El Salvador was like a circle that opened and closed, as in the 1980s he photographed a journalist murdered just 200 years from where he was himself later killed. After Poveda finished the film he decided to remain in El Salvador to attempt to mediate between the two rival gangs with the aim of beginning a dialogue that could lead to a peaceful reconciliation. Possibly that was what led to his death, commented Solive, in referring to a murder in which there still remain doubts to be clarified and regarding which the France-based international organization Reporters Without Borders has called for further explanations. However, the legacy of the Franco-Spanish persons documentary possibly has served for people to begin to be aware of an issue that is not discussed in the press, the producer said. According to figures compiled by La Femme Endormie in France the film has been seen in movie theaters by 100,000 people and 20,000 copies of it on DVD have been sold. La Vida Loca screening, arranged by the cultural service of the French embassy with the French Institute of Madrid, was made in the presence of Povedas family, which read a letter expressing pride at his commitment to combating injustice.