“Diaries of a Mourning,” Karim Aïnouz’s documentary chronicles the disappointing journey haunted by a missing mother.
Between the secret of the wonderful melody The Hidden Life of Eurydice Gusmão And disappointing (for those who discovered it at the recent Cannes Film Festival) Queen game Filmed in England, Karim Aïnouz, the peripatetic Brazilian, who passed through Paris and New York before settling in Berlin, has produced an intimate documentary, Mountain sailor. He returns by ferry following in his father’s footsteps and in memory of his mother. Speaking the living mother tongue, the director explores his father’s unknown land, digging into the origins of two separate cultures: the Portuguese of Fortaleza, northern Brazil, where Aïnouz was born, and the Kabyles, Tizi Ouzou, where his father never left to find his fiancée despite sealed promises. He did not meet this father until he was twenty years old, in Paris, where he rebuilt his life, and he is often called “his father” in the film. Mother Iracema died when he started this travel diary in Algeria in 2019.
Of the two, it is the dead mother who wins, as the wind carries the itinerant director’s words, in voiceover. The resurrected memory is stronger than the discovery of the unknown homeland, the deserted Algeria, the white city, the red city. The photographs bring back the face of Iracema, abandoned by the love she met in New York in the early 1960s.