FEARLESS JUAN, 15min., Columbia
Directed by David Pombo
After having dedicated his whole life to pleasing the dead, Juancho begins to worry about who will fulfill his wishes when his time comes.
More than 25 years living a block away from the municipal morgue have made me have an inevitable relationship with death. Since I was a young boy, I felt a strong intrigue when I would see the corpses being unloaded at the neighborhood funeral homes, almost always on the weekends which is when most people die. I watched hundreds of families lost in grieve while they waited for the body of one of their loved ones. I grew up watching the funeral home employees try to sell their services to these families in the most frivolous way, used to the same routine and smiling forensic doctors who passed the dead bodies through their hands. All these are complex matters, ideas and images that most people prefer to avoid, but which I continued to question throughout my life.
This is a short film inspired in the lives of many of these morticians from the neighborhood where I grew up, who prepare bodies by day, and at night become a sort of living dead with their crack addictions. They are people who dedicated their whole lives to please the wishes of the dead, and their families… And who ended up living on the street, old and dying alone, destined to rest eternally in a common grave.
Everything that the funerary ritual symbolizes is actually transcendental and definitive in the way we organize our lives. This short film is an opportunity for me to reconcile with all the dead whom I would see entering the morgue when I was a boy. Juan sin Miedo invites the spectator to question their mortality, even for a second. To observe objectively from a distance, to decide about their own body.
I believe these themes and questions become especially relevant in this year, as we are faced with a global pandemic, which has left us vulnerable and fearing our own death or that of a loved one. This without doubt, will forever change the way we perceive our own death and fragility in this world.