One of the most underrated aspects of cinema is its use of silence, and how it gives the audience the chance to sit with the visuals and feel something without having to be told what to feel. Meritxell Colell Aparicio’s directorial debut Con El Viento utilizes silence to illustrate the tension between mother and daughter protagonists, as they try to reconcile after years. Neither of them possess the words to process the grief of their past lives.
What makes Con El Viento emotionally moving is the cast of very talented debutant actors; it makes the difficulties of familial relationships resonate even with people who may not have experienced these emotions.
The film follows choreographer Monica (Monica Garcia) as she returns home after 20 years to the small village in Buenos Aires where she was born to visit her father on his deathbed. When she arrives, he has already passed and now she must help her grieving mother (Concha Canal) sell their family home. As she starts to reconnect with her family and the landscape that surrounds her, she begins to grieve the life she left behind; she feels a guilt that most Latinx people identify with, when they leave their home in pursuit of a better life.
Monica’s internal battle is often shown through movement instead of dialogue, as she dances amidst the landscapes she grew up with. The scenes flip between shots of her dancing and shots of nature; sometimes conjoining the two, almost as if showing her becoming one with her roots. These visuals give us an intimate look into a feeling of homesickness and a desire for more words cannot describe. This becomes most poignant given that her mother has had to remain within the lifestyle and place she was born into.
Con El Viento made me understand my mother more – how she sometimes doesn’t understand my desire to leave and pursue my dreams, because she wasn’t given the space to do that and how sometimes words fail to explain how we’re both feeling, so it’s easier to let our silence do the talking.
Marissa De La Cerda is an arts, culture and film writer in Chicago. She has many passions and because of this always feeling like she’s running out of time.