Estimated between Mon. I think a lot is really intuitive.
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I asked a guy to find me an agency that exports workers and he said we can't go to this place or that but we can go here. So we came in and, while changing reels, I asked him,''What did you do before? In Bangkok Bahrain , you reveal two international exchange systems in Thailand. The other, the hiring of Thai women as prostitutes by foreign "sex tourists,"is a more taboo subject.
You must spend a fair amount of time looking for topics that are not too obvious around which you can build a film. When I do a film like Pineapple or Bangkok Bahrain , on a topic I don't know well beforehand, I like a period of just reading. I want to know where I'm moving. Then I never take these books with me. Shooting requires a lot of concentration because each little string leads you to another and another. There's a labyrinth that you have to follow without being too uptight or too strict with yourself. For instance, when we started Pineapple , we found that Castle and Cooke were two missionaries who went to Hawaii to convert the natives, and the religious aspect became clear: before you control people physically or economically, it is important to have the missionary in the Philippines convert their perception of reality.
But it's all interwoven. How did you come to the pineapple as the focus around which a multinational system revolves?
In my Ph. But it seemed a kind of abstraction. I remember a precise moment: I was standing in the apartment of a friend of mine and there was a pineapple can there.
I peeled off the label, which I still have, and it said: "Produced in the Philippines, packaged in Honolulu, distributed in San Francisco. Later on I made a xerox of it and said to someone in Swedish television, "Here is the script. It seems you are increasingly interested not just in structures like the workers who have some relation to a machine, but in multinational systems of exchange. I gather you made Brand New Day because the Eurythmics asked you to make a film about the group. But were you attracted by the idea of exploring the mix of cultures when an English group, with roots in American musical traditions, visits japan?
Yes, there are some rules that I've made for myself and one is that I will not make a documentary in a country I don't know, if it's shot just in that country. I think that's much more the work of the local filmmakers. I don't like films done from an external, folkloristic point of view about a place. But I'll make a film if it's about a structure or social system which shapes the multinational world we live in today. Then I'm entitled like anyone else to do it.
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I wonder if moving around gives you some freedom to violate taboos, as you do. And if a filmmaker or reporter works for a large organization, he or she must be careful not to ruin contacts for the next person stationed in that location. What you said is very interesting. Before I went to Bangkok or the Philippines, the television stations involved wanted me to meet various people—the opposition leaders in exile, etc.
I said "no" because I think you have to be very careful not to be attached to anyone. You are an observer; you will not be there tomorrow. It's better to make it clear—it's easier for them—otherwise you become too important to their existence. And it's better for the filmmaker not to make bombastic declarations about the affinities he has or doesn't have. You've talked about the difficulties filmmakers have making documentaries for television because 1V doesn't like alternative forms, but you've been very successful in getting commissions from television.
Most of your recent films are co-productions between your company and various European channels. How do you explain this—by the fact that there are people in television who are sympathetic to your approach? Yes, some people in television are open, but they are becoming more and more rare. And sometimes compromises are demanded. Pineapple wouldn't have existed if French television hadn't stepped into the project. Swedish and Finnish television were committed but I went all over Europe and people said, "It's wonderful," but didn't give me any contracts.
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