Aside from one trip to Madrás during Di Tella’s childhood, his mother, psychologist Kamala Apparao, never mentioned anything about her Indian birthplace or ancestry to her son. Why not?
Photographs is the second installment of Andrés Di Tella’s “family trilogy,” a series of subjective documentaries centered on his family. Split between a first part in Argentina and a second part in India, the film functions both as a meditation on the memory of a lost mother and a road movie that registers a trip to a culture that the filmmaker feels as his own, but that he, ultimately, knows little to nothing about. Exploring cultural missed encounters, the movie explores what the idea of a cultural or ethnic origin could mean and how cultural mythologies traffic within them manifold forms of oppression. Through a creative use of montage that mixes original footage, media and Di Tella’s personal archives, Photographs also reflects on the often-deceptive optics of memory and how film can aid in mourning the past. – Ignacio Azcueta