‘Ara’ by Pere Solés fictionalises mental illness with real patients

Pere Solés, director

10/26/2018.- On Friday 26thOctober, the Meeting Point section screened the premiere of Ara by Pere Solés, a fiction feature filmed with real patients which shows how a team of clinical psychologists specialising in eating disorders fight with the only weapon they have –common sense–, against the senselessness which has taken hold of girls like Nuria, a new anorexic patient who arrives at the centre and puts the professionalism of the therapists to the test.

“When people watch my film, they ask me if it’s a documentary or a fiction film, and I tell them it’s quite the opposite”, Solés explained in his meeting with the public after the screening. The filmmaker produced the film Ara with non-professional actors and actresses (the characters who appear in the film are real patients filmed alongside their therapists).

The director of the film is also a doctor, so he was able to attend therapy sessions with the girls over a four-year period, and establish a common thread to guide the film. The film was shot without a script. As the director commented, he wrote several scenes and some loose guidelines for the actresses to follow. Pere Solés had the idea to make the film as part of the girls’ therapy: “it’s very important for them to be able to tackle their disease and explain it to other people”.

With this film, Pere Solés sought to reflect his own experience with the young women: “when you attend the therapy sessions on a regular basis and you begin to form part of the daily lives of the girls, you feel their weaknesses and you realise that everybody is at risk of suffering from mental illness. Society must learn to normalise these situations and provide better support to the mentally ill”.

Posted in 63rd Seminci.