The Wolf’s Lair: dreams and fragmented memories in a first-person essay film
Item statusRestricted Access
Embargo end date31/12/2100
This PhD by practice is an attempt to understand personal archives through filmmaking, and the kind of knowledge we can extract from them as well as how we can connect them to a wider social and political context. These questions are the core of my research and are explored in their different ways through both the film/practice and dissertation. I have chosen to make a film about my absent grandfather and his lost relationship with my mother during Fascist Portugal between the 1940s and the 1960s. Family archives have been largely used in films as a way of documenting realities, in the same way as any other public archival footage. In this instance, I tried to explore family and official archives acknowledging their contradictions and omissions with a view to finding a new “way of knowing” that is more closely connected to our emotions. I believe we all own a family archive regardless of its form. I named this archive “the subjective archive” and in it, I include physical archives such as paper documents, photographs and films, as well as a more intangible archive, which includes our memories, the stories we tell and listen to (oral history) and our dreams. The progression of the film is closely related to my journey as I become immersed in the story and learn things through many layers of archive documents. As a conclusion, I argue that these invisible elements of the subjective archive contain truth independent of their indexical nature, whereas physical documents can mislead us.