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The lack that moves us


2005/ 2009 – THE PIECE

The Lack that Moves Us or All Stories are Fiction is about families and their relational systems. About how generations are affected by previous generations, and how the so-called “coca-cola generation” that grew up under the Brazilian military dictatorship sees its past. It’s also about the relationship between actor and character and theater and performance. It is a play that doesn’t start, the actors waiting for the sixth actor to commence. And then there’s the meeting of these actors with the audience in the theater, in the here and now, living with absence, with impossibility. In a place where everything should “be” (or “seem”?) spontaneous. The time of the play is the real time of the action; the actors prepare a dinner, drink a few bottles of wine and talk among themselves and with the audience. The drink provokes an alteration of the actors’ states in reality and also in fiction, relationships overflows and conflicts gain strength. They call each other by their own names, it’s never clear whether things are personal or not, leaving the audience with the impression they’re watching something that was not meant to be seen. Something that’ getting out of hand. Something “real”, even if it’s a game about what is real.

After three years of presentations in theaters and festivals in Brazil and abroad, Christiane Jatahy decided to translate the experience of the play it into a cinematographic experience: the film The Absence that moves us.

2008/ 2012 – THE FILM

The film opened up the possibility of an even more radical artistic experience, mixing the language of documentary with fiction and breaking the boundaries between reality and creation.

Ten basics were set out for the filming:

  1. five actors.
  2. a single place.
  3. thirteen continuous hours of footage.
  4. three simultaneous cameras.
  5. Since there are no scene cuts, the actors are directed during shooting by text messages.
  6. The actors are waiting for someone they really don’t know if he or she will show up.
  7. they follow scripts, but do not know each other’s scripts.
  8. they really eat, cook and drink.
  9. some stories are real, others are made up.
  10. No one can leave no matter what.

Filmed on a Christmas Eve – from the night of December 23rd to the morning of the 24th – The lack that moves us portrays a Christmas of close friends, in which memories and revelations come to light. 13 hours of continuous shooting resulted in 39 hours of raw footage. It took a year to study, splitting the scenes second by second, and editing to transform these 39 hours into 2 continuous hours, with no apparent ellipses of passage of time, leaving the viewer to that he or she’s assisting to what was exactly happening that night, an uninterrupted long shot; but in fact it is a big patchwork that recreates an idea of reality. An exercise in bending over yourself, where not everything is really as it seems.

The film traveled to various international festivals and was shown in Brazilian cinemas in 2011, and had an impressive audience response for an authorial and experimental film, with more than 40.000 spectators and eleven weeks on the billboards of Brazilian movietheaters.


The cinematographic installation shows the rough material of 39 hours filmed. The installation was displayed for the first time at the Parque Lage in Rio de Janeiro, in the context of the Tempo Festival. Three cinema screens side to side display the material from the three cameras synchronously. Seated in couches, chairs, cushions, the spectators seethe projection starting at exactly the same hour the shooting started, following for the next 13 hours the clock of the film: often the actors mention what time it is in the film, in sync with the watches of the spectators. The video installation was later shown in Lisbon at the Teatro São Luiz and at the CentQuatre in Paris.

Um filme de Christiane Jatahy
Com Cristina Amadeo, Daniela Fortes, Marina Vianna, Kiko Mascarenhas e Pedro Bricio.

Direção de Fotografia Walter Carvalho
Som Direto Leandro Lima e Marcel Costa
Desenho de som Lendro Lima
Trilha Original Lucas Marcier, Rodrigo Marçal e Luciano Correa 

Direção de Arte Marcelo Lipiani
Edição Sergio Mekler e Christiane Jatahy
Produção Executiva Gabriela Weeks
Roteiro Final Christiane Jatahy

Colaboração roteiro Cristina Amadeo, Daniela Fortes, Kiko Mascarenhas, Marina Vianna, Pedro Bricio e Lulu Silva Telles.

Produção Flavio Ramos Tambellini e Christiane Jatahy