Traces of the Soulwritten, directed and photographed by Rafa Arroyoand Short Documentary nominated in the next edition of the Goya Awards, is an expression of pain as liberation, as reflection and as art.
“She was my cloth of tears for me. We bared our souls in every conversation, there were no secrets. There was a pure and clean friendship” these are some of the first words with which Maria Jose Arroyoprotagonist of Traces of the Soul, begins this piece, in which pain and bad memories turn around and become a source of inspiration, venting and art; and in which already, from his first words like the ones that start the paragraph, he makes melancholy of everything good, transforming the bad.
Rafa Arroyodirector, screenwriter and cinematographer of this short documentary film collects fragments of the life of his mother, Maria Josep, through her testimony on a journey to the past where some memories leave the soul wounded. She and Rafa have traveled together through the landscapes of their land, where María José finds peace and harmony to let her soul fly and embody it through her paintings, full of strokes and style, being the perfect frame so that the pain is channeled and standing in the beauty. the feeling is shown through beautiful scenery at sunset, olive groves in the mist, the sun setting and reflecting its last tail strokes in the water of a lake, hands gliding through a field of wheatsmall formal reflections where Maria Josep’s soul is filled.
After the first few minutes where we learn about the importance of María Luisa in the years of life she shared with Maria José, Traces of the Soul visually immerse your style in a photograph based on low tones to contextualize the darkest years of the protagonist in the plot, where her reality was characterized by humiliations and vexations, and in which the family forces you to do what in theory you must and not what you feel The images of the present are mixed with the testimony and the look of Maria Josep serves as a witness to the impact that time generates on us, finding a beautiful visual line and narrative framework that holds the temporality of the piece. Traces of the Soul rises on the feeling of Maria Josep, and some of the images with the text manage to excite and find an impact on uswhich partly produces joy and sorrow for not knowing how to recognize our own present with respect to how she feels it.
But what I really stand out at the narrative level of Traces of the Souland which supposes the sumun of the union between text, direction, style and photography, is like knows how to awaken the good through channeling the bad. Arriving at a moment, the piece begins how the whole past has produced a series of changes in María José’s life, and far from finding a reflection on melancholy and sentiment, the piece detach at the level of style and turns the attention to the look of Maria José a how she sees reality and the result with her beautiful works, strange, enigmatic and full of styleand in which we feel in every stroke a pure soul freeing itself, expressing itself through lines and colors in landscapes between the dreamlike, singular and intimate that Rafa Arroyo has been able to choose perfectly thanks to the sum of the place and the time of day. Traces of the Soul it concludes by reminding us of the landscapes, the look of Maria Josep, the pure soul, Maria Lluïsa and all the beauty in each work. Nothing remains of all that is bad from the beginning. Rafa Arroyo manages to forget such a tragic fact and turn it into beauty, with excellent photography, lines that move and a result that leaves a knot in the mouth by demonstrating all the good that a son can do for a mother . There is no more gift.
from today, January 13the short film is available on Filmin i will compete for the Goya for Best Documentary Short Film at the next edition of the awards ceremony that will take place in Seville on February 11. Our last wish is that all silenced witnesses see the light and that Traces of the Soul serve as inspiration for many other stories to become beauty.