The search for a new home to live in awakens childhood memories that mingle with the desert landscape.
In 2020, Isabelle Tollenaere presented at IndieLisboa the feature film Victoria, which would eventually win an award at the festival. This project, about the ghost town of California, in the Mojave Desert, resulted from a long process of shooting, in which Tollenaere was the director of photography. From the enormous quantity of images and sounds collected, the director made a film in which questions of memory assume a triple meaning: thematic, symbolic, and formal. In the first movement, we follow two women who visit an empty house. It is a prospective experience, “this will be my room”. Suddenly the camera is detached from their bodies and gets fixated on a window. The girls’ conversation becomes reminiscent, recalling the experience of another house, in another state, Los Angeles. The memory is fresh, the landscape is barren. And, lo and behold, the desert invades the memory, burying it. The past and the memories of it are, by definition, irretrievable. (Ricardo Vieira Lisboa).