Javier Mariscal and Fernando Trueba join forces again after the success of Chico

Trueba has been obsessed with his figure since he discovered it in 2005 and has followed it tirelessly, although in both the film and the comic he has been transformed into Jeff, “a handsome American journalist, we couldn’t put a director as the protagonist. of cinema that looks this way and that way,” says Mariscal. Trueba has achieved exceptional testimonies of the myths of Brazilian music and of people who had never spoken, like Malena, the woman with whom Tenório lived a love story, or like Carmen, his widow, who had to face the disappearance and know that He wasn’t alone when he vanished. A Tenório that stands as a metaphor for the triumph of a music and also the horror of the coups d’état in Latin America of Operation Condor. Having just presented the film at the Telluride, Colorado festival, on Friday they presented the graphic novel in Madrid.

They seem like an unlikely couple, what unites them?

Marshal: An obvious friendship, no matter how much you fight while working, because you have to fight.

Trueba: You have said that now, but I don’t remember having a fight with Xavi. Once, at the beginning of Chico

Talk about how long it was Chico

Trueba: Yes, but not this one. First I thought of a documentary, then a book. And it was in the middle of Chico

Marshal: I really like Fernando’s argument. And animation is a wonderful system to explain stories, we have a language, we like synthesis. And the drawing creates complicity with the viewer much stronger. Because you have to say: “Come on, I believe this, I play and I get involved.”

Trueba: The credibility pact that you have in a fiction film with actors is: I’m going to believe that Robert De Niro is Charlie Parker, and then you’re always saying “how good is Charlie Parker De Niro”, or “I can’t believe it”. I believed because he is too white”, but you are never seeing Parker, there is a credibility problem. I didn’t go to see James Ivory’s Picasso film with one of my favorite actors, Anthony Hopkins, because I can’t accept anyone being Picasso, how can anyone be Picasso? In animation there is a different pact and it has a superiority over the biopic with actors.

Marshal: When you see Dizzy Gillespie play trumpet in Chico

Trueba: That alley, which was legendary in Rio de Janeiro and where all that music was born, had died, it no longer existed. It was nice to draw it, give it life, see the atmosphere, not set up a set.

Marshal: I don’t like the word claim, but hey, you, that’s fine, animation is not “it’s Christmas, let’s go to the movies with the children.” It’s a language, and in Telluride they didn’t say animated film, but Trueba film.

Trueba: The one who introduced us in all the sessions was Peter Sellars, the opera director. He cried at all of them. Then he hugged us with emotion, he was very tender.

Why does Tenório become an obsession, due to disappearance, as a symbol of an era?

Trueba: The musical aspect, which attracts me a lot, and the mystery and absurdity of his death come together. You try to explain it to yourself. And in that process comes the character’s falling in love. When in the final scene Jeff says “I feel like he is a friend with whom I will never be able to have a beer and talk about music,” that is what I feel. There came a time when he had the feeling that he knew him and he had to make the film that served him the most.

Marshal: There is a very big loophole with your case. To Carmen, no one was going to say “you are a widow.” Everyone throws dirt, scared by the dictatorships. And it was not a very well-known Vinícius de Moraes. The musicians knew him. Caetano Veloso was going to do a project with him. Fernando discovers a record for him, Embalo. It’s very good, and he wants to know more. Where is the?

Did you become a researcher?

Trueba: Yes, of course I was.

Mariscal: He was the first to speak with Carmen, and with Malena, who came to ask him what happened to her husband.

Trueba: Nobody had ever asked them. Is incredible.

Marshal: No cops, no hosts.

Trueba: There was no investigation.

Mariscal: And Tenório’s father, who was a police officer…

Trueba: Poor man. The father and mother die when ten years have passed since the disappearance and they are told that he is not going to return. They collapse. That left me devastated, in many moments tears came to your eyes. But I haven’t uploaded the film, I have removed amazing things because it would have been black. We told the life of a musician and we didn’t want his death to take everything away, but rather his life and what he was part of. The film is more than bossa nova, it is the Brazilian music of an era. Samba, jazz, bossa nova, instrumental music, in Brazil there is no divorce between scholarly music and popular music. They do it themselves. And that makes me crazy.

But they did want to include Operation Condor of the South American dictatorships.

Trueba: To understand what was happening, what Latin America was, it was necessary.

Mariscal: In the US it has touched them a lot and all the reviews of the film say: “It was us, at this time our government…”

Trueba: I don’t make films to give messages, but, like good books, they make you experience more things. Let young kids today who don’t know about that time in South America or what bossa nova was come away with something.

Mariscal: Wanting to buy records and knowing that we have evolved. Those from Vox do not go down the street fucking and torturing people. Next to Videla, Trump is a kid. “The disappeared are neither alive nor dead, they are missing,” he said.

Trueba: When I was young, my father and many parents told us “don’t get involved in politics” to protect us. Tenório’s story proves that, if you don’t get involved in politics, you are not protected either. As long as there is violence, fascism, no one is. We are all threatened. They caught a musician who was going for a sandwich.