Tales of Two Who Dreamt
Nicolás Pereda and Andrea Bussmann’s Tales of Two Who Dreamt blends elements of fairytale and documentary in an elliptical portrait of a Hungarian Roma family that has come to seek asylum in Canada.
The film takes place in and among a cluster of densely populated high rise apartment towers in Toronto. For the characters in Tales, as for many new immigrants to Canada, the apartment towers are a transitional space. The characters of the film are physically and temporally suspended: they pass the time while waiting for a job, for a court date, for the filmmakers to shoot, and for the realisation of a future that never quite arrives. The towers are kaleidoscopic spaces where the characters’ real lives – fictions, fairytales, and struggles – are partially partitioned but never completely separated from one another.
The boundary between documentary and fantasy is similarly unsettled throughout the film. One can never be certain whether the dreamlike world of Tales is an alternate reality, a true story or a legend of its own. A central fairytale repeated throughout tells the story of a boy who wakes up from a dream and has turned into a bird. But it is the stories surrounding this one, sometimes encapsulated in a shared glance or whispered rumour, that comprise the body of the film.
Drawing on French New Wave and New Argentine formal techniques, Tales eschews conventional narrative structure in favour of gritty, disorganised and unpolished renderings of the lives of ordinary people. It is shot entirely in black and white and utilises voiceover and song as it lingers over its grim, urban surroundings. In lieu of a guiding plot, the film is elegantly held together by circumstance and ennui. The characters alternately read from scripts, discuss the central legend of the bird boy, move furniture around and dye their hair in preparation for the main event; but the movie, for the many ways it is imagined and rehearsed, never materialises. Tales of Two Who Dreamt is a treatment of the bare texture of people moving through their daily lives, but it is also a treatment of time and expectation, of the moments that populate the hours and days spent waiting.
Tales of Two Who Dreamt does not have a UK release date yet.
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Watch the trailer for Tales of Two Who Dreamt here: