Moviegoing Memories is a series of short interviews with filmmakers about going to the movies. Tatiana Huezo's Prayers for the Stolen is MUBI GO's Film of the Week in the UK for April 8, 2022.
NOTEBOOK: How would you describe your movie in the least amount of words?
TATIANA HUEZO: A look at the world from the discovery and magic of being a girl. A look that also immerses us in the fear that comes from understanding the violence to which you are exposed.
NOTEBOOK: Where and what is your favourite movie theatre? Why is it your favorite?
HUEZO: The Cineteca Nacional in Mexico reminds me of my childhood. I feel melancholy and emotional every time I go to one of its screens, especially the big ones.
When I was a child, I fell in love with cinema in front of one of those screens. I found some of the most important films of my life in its programming there. The Cineteca Nacional is a meeting place that has always been very alive, and when you arrive early you can lie down on the green grass in its gardens and feel its freshness in the middle of the big city. Also, Mexican cinema has always been embraced by its programmers and I feel part of that cinema.
NOTEBOOK: What is the most memorable movie screening of your life? Why is it memorable?
HUEZO: I think that a memorable moment in the path of a filmmaker is whenever you release a film, when that intense journey of your work is delivered to the public, to the viewer.
Tempest, my second documentary film, was premiered at the Berlinale Forum, and I remember that minutes before its premiere Christoph Terhechte, director of the Forum, took me to the Delphi Filmpalast, an elegant room with a huge screen and red velvet curtains. He said: “Do you like this room where we are going to premiere your film?” The place seemed huge to me and I asked him how many people could fit in it. When he told me that it was a room for more than 700 people I felt nervous, I imagined that it would be difficult to fill it to capacity since it was a documentary.
I will never forget the moment of entering that room again and seeing it completely full, the film was projected with extraordinary image and sound, the credits ran to the end without any interruption, and when the lights came on the audience was still there—meeting with them was really exciting and emotional. Releasing a movie is like giving birth to a child.
NOTEBOOK: If you could choose one classic film to watch on the big screen, what would it be and why?
HUEZO: El Espíritu de la Colmena (The Spirit of the Beehive) by Víctor Érice is a film that moved me and made me inhabit the skin of a silent, introverted and endearing character: a girl with deep eyes who feels what war means, although this is not obviously visible, but in witnessing the brutality of pointing out and crushing the other, the enemy.
It seems valuable to me that from the discovery of this encounter narrated in such a simple way, Víctor Érice generates a powerful way of recounting an historical moment in the life of a country, such as the Spanish Civil War.
I think that the strength of this film also lies in the visual beauty of the minimalist landscapes, which immerse us in solitude and in the sensation of the vulnerable refuge that is childhood.
I have never had the opportunity to see and hear this movie on the big screen, which is why I am proposing it. Without a doubt, in the dark room of a cinema the journey will be even more powerful.