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Hot Docs 2024: Qs à la mode with… Tamara Segura (Seguridad)

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Director Tamara Segura travels to Cuba and examines the complicated relationships between her alcoholic late father and the rest of her family in Seguridad. We posed our Qs à la mode to Tamara, and here’s what she shared!

 

If I had to describe my film using only three adjectives, they would be: Brave, honest, cathartic.

I decided to make this film because: As the American poet Maya Angelou once said: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” The story of my family had been buried for over four decades, and keeping it secret fundamentally shaped the lives of our entire household. I decided to make the film as a form of personal catharsis and breaking free from intergenerational trauma.

The thing that surprised me most about my film’s subject/topic was: How the dysfunction of my family mirrored the dysfunction of the Cuban political system at large.

The toughest part of the shoot was: Interviewing my family members. I decided to film them on equal terms and put myself in front of the camera, as vulnerable as they were. The conversations that arose were very scary, as we were touching on a taboo topic. My greatest fear was not knowing what impact opening old wounds would have on us.

My favorite moment/scene/sequence in my film is: The final letter to my father, followed by my sister’s reaction to it. Both moments come from a very truthful place in my heart.

My most invaluable piece of doc-making equipment was/is: Surprisingly, it was my cell phone. I believe that in documentary filmmaking, the best camera is the one that you’re carrying when you suddenly stumble upon a unique moment that otherwise wouldn’t be captured. Half of my film was shot on my phone, which allowed for a lot of intimacy and candid moments between me and my relatives.

One piece of documentary-filmmaking advice I’d like to share with aspiring documentarians is: The ethical responsibility of asking someone to be vulnerable in front of a camera is monumental. Respect your characters. They are giving you something very delicate and precious: their stories. 

 

Want to check out Tamara’s film, or just learn more about it?
Get the scoop, and your tickets, here!

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