Lina Rodríguez’s hearing | Rock & Art

To conclude this unique women’s month, filmmaker Lina Rodríguez is the perfect subject to leave us with the sensation that art, like many other fields, needs more voices like Lina’s to provide humanity and perspective.

Lina Rodríguez was born in Colombia and studied film in Canada. Her filmmaker’s eye in the feature film “Mis dos voces” (My Two Voices) is situated in those intermediate zones between different registers as a space for creation. In the vaguest and most controversial definition I could create, I would say that “Mis dos Voces” is as if the Sunday documentaries at 9 PM on national channels had made love to Van Gogh’s flower paintings. And this can only have one author: Lina Rodríguez.

A filmmaker (because calling her a director falls short when considering this work) in the task of thinking about research, images, and sound from a new dynamic. There’s a new current in these images that sets aside minimalism to give space filled with value to objects as tools for storytelling. The bracelets, the kitchen, the school bus, and the voices of Claudia, Marinela, and Ana, the work’s protagonists, shape a new sense of discourse through a register that doesn’t require a face. This feature film is an exaltation of the extraordinary and of the way of appreciating elements as samples of time and reasons for memory.

Lina Rodríguez' film
So Much Tenderness, another of Lina’s films

Who are the two voices? 

From the film’s title, the first mystery is presented: the need as spectators to predict what will happen and use an imaginary power to be two steps ahead and understand the movie. However, Lina Rodríguez invites us into a home, a foreign home where, as visitors, manners are demanded of us above all. And we keep this mystery of the title in our pocket so that only at the end of the night, returning home, we think about it again.

In this feedback space, we conclude that the two voices are not the dichotomies we are accustomed to. They are not opposites debating for reason nor a play between consciousness and spoken words. “Mis dos voces” speaks of a necessary separation to value that estrangement we avoid giving to the everyday. The everydayness of voice, face, things, routines, and even pain. Fragmenting in each of these facets, and even in many more, helps us to reunite in unforeseen ways.

Lina, for example, combines the voice outside but alongside things and only later shows us the face. In the words of this visit, it’s as if, right upon arrival, there’s space to have a glass of wine and chat without beating around the bush about professions and age, only for us to be given those superficial details in the end and discover that they weren’t essential, that we should always start with that wine that brings out the essence.

Lina Rodríguez and cinema as reality 

Returning to that somewhat nonsensical comparison, I affirm that Lina Rodríguez caresses that Sunday documentary format only because she infuses it with humanity. She makes the journalistic exercise of the interview remember that it deals with people and that their lives are not in any way a commodity to abstract from them what is academically and socially attractive. Lina even subtly paints cinema as a mechanism that can make journalistic work worthy of its actual owners. In this sense, Lina becomes a medium and perhaps a guardian of the stories of Claudia, Ana, and Marinela, but never their owner.

The main evidence of this lies in the way she plays with faces and reveals them at the end, giving each one a blank space and intertwining these voices. With this, she doesn’t achieve homogeneity but a meeting place like the night when these four women (including Lina) spoke without video about a whole life—a space that belongs solely to them and that Lina, in her guardian stance, preserves and structures to do justice to each one.

Art doesn’t imitate reality; it dignifies it. 

Van Gogh’s flowers appear in the staging of this research. By giving this humanity outside of the pitch and the canons determining which stories are worthwhile, Lina Rodríguez culminates that beautiful process with a product that also departs from these standards. She avoids that journalistic note that amidst thousands of ads and lines of less than 10 words, it makes it difficult for us to relate to the characters. In this case, the feature film uses resources to deliver results that account for every process step.

Just as those notes obstruct the way of relating, Lina will obstruct our intrusive eye to give it a path and a rhythm that are the decision of its authors. And just as the limits of ads establish the relevance of a story, Lina is going to limit our habits of immediacy to observe the images that dwell on minutiae for as long as necessary for us to be carried away by the voice between a window with a bird feeder.

And finally, just as that note is extracted in concise lines to tell the striking, Lina is going to be extractive of a whole night of experiences told only to assemble the pieces in a way that when the movie ends, we leave the cinema knowing that the visit is over and that those voices do not belong to us.