Far Away, So Close

With lusty seniors in Rio and hard-driving cabbies in Lima, filmmaker Heddy Honigmann makes her home in the world

Honigmann describes Good Husband as the most difficult film of her career. Asking widows to talk about mementos of the departed on camera--a stopped watch, a cleaned T-shirt, apples--was a far cry from passing around Drummond's book or playing a song. "I met the widows and I heard the whole story for hours about exactly how their husbands and sons were killed," the director says. "But then came the very difficult moment to explain to them that nobody in the world wants to listen to those stories. What I was trying was to tell something very special about the husbands and the sons, so that people will remember them forever. And they understood."

After her initial interviews, Honigmann returned to town to find people waiting for her bus. "I was adopted by the widows," she says, laughing. "I got so much confidence that I was even [saying to] them, 'No, no, no, no, no, you are not telling me the truth. Or: 'This is not good for the film because you are crying too much.'

"[They'd say,] 'Oh, yes, Heddy, I am so sorry.'

As if the total collapse of the Peruvian economy weren't bad enough, he's going to get screwed on the trade-in value:  A last-resort cabdriver in 'Metal and Melancholy'
Heddy Honigmann
As if the total collapse of the Peruvian economy weren't bad enough, he's going to get screwed on the trade-in value: A last-resort cabdriver in 'Metal and Melancholy'

"'I know. Let me cry with you and then we will do it again.' They knew that if it's crying, crying, crying, you cannot watch it anymore. You see only tears and you cannot get to the persons who died."

When Rouch and his hosts finally caught up with the lion, the exultant villagers exorcised its spirit. For Honigmann, raising the dead is her living art.

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