Lettera #24 Para Clara
We’re settled into Ragusa, into a daily pattern – though it depends on whether it is rainy – very much since we arrived, or sunny. If the latter I try to get out to walk the city, taking photographs and thinking. Marcella is busy editing the dance film I shot in Korea 4 years ago – to be titled Again and Again. I think there will be a very long version, maybe 3 or 5 hours long, for people interested in dance, Ahn Eun mee, or more generally in the creative process. And then we’ll do a shorter version – 60 to 90 minutes – for a more general audience.
I’ve been busy making Italian subtitles for 3 films to show, along with two others, towards the end of the month in Torino at the Museo Nazionale del Cinema. The subtitles are a very tedious kind of work, but needs to be done. 5 films, a small fraction of my work. We’ll go there for that and spend a week in northern Italy, visiting also near Milano where I will see the Rebosio family, where I stayed in 1963 and shot my very first film, a portrait of the then 12 year old daughter Matilde. Now she’s 66, with 3 children and a growing group of grandchildren. Thanks to Facebook we re-connected 4 years ago. Last time I was there I showed them that first film, and we’ll be showing it in Torino, and she and her husband will come for it.
Meantime working on other things from preparing to try to record my silly country-west/folk songs, to putting together a book of what I think might be poems, and once the weather warms up, returning to painting. And if all goes well try to shoot some kind of film here.
And to resume from the last letter, which described what happened in 2001, when I last, sadly, saw you.
After you were kidnapped in September of that year, the second time, illegally yet again, I began a two year process, which took almost all my time, of trying to secure your well-being. I wrote endless letters, dealt with the US Embassy in Lisboa, with the Portuguese press, with lawyers. I wrote the Procurador General of Portugal, the President, and all too many others. All, as it turned out, to no avail. In my next letter I will begin to print a handful of those letters which I wrote to Teresa in the autumn of 2000, just before she kidnapped you. And then, later I will do so with some (way too many to do all) of those I sent to the press and political authorities in Portugal in the following years.
I have saved all of these, as best I could in my itinerant life, and keep them on a DVD for you, for some time in the future – a record for you. It is not a happy record, as what it records was not. It is a part of the truth you should know, about your own life.
I assume you are in school – where, what I do not know – studying. I hope all is going well and you are happy. Of course, nothing would make me more happy than to hear from you and see you.
Teu pai, jon