When the pandemic first struck, Argentinian filmmaker Virna Molina was working on a documentary about the struggle for equal rights for female workers at the Buenos Aires subway. The project came to a standstill, but then Molina decided to go ahead with her film after all—however, it turned out very differently from the original plan.
Portraits of the Future is a documentary with storytelling elements, in which it’s impossible to tell fact from fiction. In the isolation of her room, which she is rarely able to leave during lockdown, Molina uses her computer to look for images of the future and the past. She examines how her generation has been influenced by growing up in a dictatorship, making connections between the privatization of businesses and the post-dictatorship championing of individualism.
This highly personal essay is rich in ideas and covers lots of ground: from women’s voting rights, to the future of her daughters, to fear of Covid-19. Its style is futuristic, with texts read out by robotic voices, but at its heart the film retains a deep sense of social engagement with the present.