Lion's Den: Interview With Director pablo Trapero

Trapero on Lion's Den: Competition Film in Cannes Fest 2008


Cannes Film Fest 2008–Writer-director Pablo Trapero depicts life in a women's prison wing where pregnant mothers are allowed to keep their children until they are toddlers. The film stars Trapero's wife, Martina Gusman, who is also a producer on the film.


Trapero recalls:  “The starting point was the idea of talking about motherhood. I had made two previous films, “Rolling Family” was about a big family, and then “Born and Bred” was based on a father, and so I was looking to make a film about a mother.


I discovered this amazing situation that I didn't know about before. My family was on a trip three years ago. We were on the highway, going to the countryside from our home in Buenos Aires. We were going to my father's farm, with the idea that we'd be experiencing the countryside, freedom, animals and that sort of thing. And then our 5-year-old son asked, “What is that pink building” It was a prison, and they had used the color of pink for the mothers pavilion. I saw it through my son's eyes, and I started to research it.


When I met Martina, she was working in production. I found out that she had acted in theater, and I always said, “Why don't you go back” She did a small part in “Born and Bred,” and then we explored the idea of working together. I said, “Seriously, Martina, now, let's do it.


It was a real challenge, not just sharing the acting and production with Martina, but also sharing our lives. I am really happy to have had this experience with her. But sometimes it was 15-16 hours of working together and then being home together. It was a tiring process. What I like the most about her acting is the way she can go into a character, and the way that she made tough things easy. She is very committed. She could make difficult dialogue almost enjoyable to shoot.


I should add that our son also can be seen in the movie in one scene.”