Bang Bang

Bang Bang

I met Andrea Tonacci once.

There was a screening of Serras da Desordem in my second year of college and he was there for a talk afterwards. I was absolutely taken away by the film (still one of the most striking documentaries I've ever seen) and I decided I just had to go up to him and say so in person. This was no ordinary man, though: we would study his films in class and I was really afraid of being one of those terribly tedious fans who go on and on with compliments that don't mean anything to anyone but themselves and end up boring the very person they meant to please.

But it didn't matter. I gathered courage, waited for the best moment, and went up to him. I introduced myself, shook his hand, and began timidly articulating my impressions, careful not to overdo it. Even though he was old enough to be my father I thought he was very handsome, and it pleased me to learn he was also very kind. He loved that I had loved it, gave this wonderful, spontaneous laugh and presented me with a hug and a big kiss in the cheek.

I was in heaven.

When I got home that day the first thing I did was write a short story about it (one I still really like), about being young and not knowing yourself, about love and admiration. This was 8 years ago, but it sort of stayed with me. I never saw him again, and felt sad to read in the papers about his death late last year. I guess I'll always have great admiration for his films - Bang Bang, Blablablá, the very best Cinema Marginal there is - and for the kind man I met that day, who gave me a happy kiss in the cheek and taught me more than he'll ever know about who I wanted to be in life.

Catharina liked these reviews