Director Agustina Comedi on „Playback. Ensayo de una despedida“ and the short form / interview

Agustina Comedi is a screenwriter and filmmaker born in Córdoba, Argentina in 1986. After studying modern literature, she made her feature-length debut, Silence Is a Falling Body, which premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam in 2017. The film went on to be selected by over 50 festivals and won multiple awards.

What was your starting point for Playback. Ensayo de una despedida ?

When I was doing the research on my father´s life for my previous film Silence is a Falling Body, someone told me that a guy called Horacio was my father´s boyfriend and that she was a trans woman now. I looked for her on Facebook and wrote a message. We were both very moved. I wanted to meet her in person but she always had some excuses. After a while she told me that although she felt like a woman and that during the night on the stage she was “La Delpi”, she lived as a man.
Finally we met. We spend long hours talking, she showed me the recordings of those performing nights, and told me the stories about her friends. After a wile I met Kolo, her best friend. Both together were the last living members of Kalas Group. When we where about to start doing something with the found footage, Kolo died. We understood that this was the story we needed to tell. A story about friendship as a way of resistance.

Do you have a favourite moment in the film? Which one and why this one?

I love the moment in which Kolo sings „El Viejo Varieté“. When I met him, he was already very ill and looked old, but when he started singing his eyes sparkled as in the VHS images of the past. IT is a song about the freedom on stage – of how there they could be what they wanted to be.

What do you like about the short form?

That’s hard to answer. It’s difficult to express what you want to express, but if you are able to do it, it’s like poem. Open to every possibility.


photo ©Dorothea Tuch

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