Why Do I Make Films? (2011)

I am tempted to simply underline Marguerite Duras’s response, when asked the same question: that I lack the strength to do nothing. In this flourishing moment of overly abundant digital pictures, in the noisy and memory-free congestion of too muchness, why add more pictures to the ones already on view? Perhaps working with pictures is a way to find the right distance with them. Many pictures from today’s pressing calamities are filled with close-ups, offering the illusion of proximity. They suggest that we are experiencing, or at least seeing, what is really there, what is actually happening. These are the pictures I often need to keep for a moment at a distance, often as radio emissions. I approach the picture with my ears, admitting the grain of a voice, and only later, the light falling on a hat left behind by a grandmother of the tsunami. I need to keep a distance in order to be close. I need to refashion these pictures until they become family, until the man with his hands over his eyes hovering over the remains of his son in a Gaza hospital is also my father. I need to bring them close, until we are intimate and inseparable, and then I need to let them move further away again, so that I can approach each one, in its singularity, in its unique and disturbing past-presentness. This necessary movement of near and far, of long shot and close up, of the child’s game of fort und da that so fascinated Freud, is all I really hope to show in my movies.