The Bus Station

La Terminal

ARGENTINA / 2023 / Spanish / Color / DCP / 62 min

- Director, Script: Gustavo Fontán
Photography: Ezequiel Salinas
Editing: Mario Bochichio
Sound: Atilio Sanchez
Producer: Eva Cáceres
Source: Punto de Fuga Cine

A bus station in the province of Córdoba, Argentina. The station sees many workers come and go. But rather than being lively, the station is veiled in a sense of calm. Heading to and from work, starting or ending a trip, seeing someone off, meeting up . . . Stories of love are layered over images shot in a free tempo of the various people at the station. A first love, a once-in-a-lifetime love, a yearning for love lost. Out of so many layers of images and voices a story of love is born, and as soon as language is interrupted, it begins again. The film delights with its delicate shots that seem to capture dancing particles of light, the flow of the air, and even facets of the night’s darkness. (YM)

[Director’s Statement] This work was filmed in a bus station in the mountains of Córdoba, Argentina, through which local buses pass, those that allow the displacement of workers and students, basically. For a long time I have been interested in waiting places. I find the flux to which they are subjected very unique and cinematographic: what appears disappears incessantly, and those who inhabit it do so as passengers. But, also, I believe in that, those spaces harbor certain traces, remains of the human experiences left behind by the people who pass through them: their pains, their fears, their hopes. Something residual, persistent and elusive, that remains in place. With that conviction we filmed this movie: recording, on the one hand, the surface flows of buses, of people—of light—but without ceasing to pay attention to the invisible, to what remains in the shadows. For this reason, for all of us who made The Bus Station, what is seen and heard has become as important as what remains silent. In relation to the word, we were interested in cutting these experiences to love. To do this, we asked those who were waiting for their buses or getting off them if they had and wanted to tell us their love story. Some people refused, but so many others trusted us and the responses were wonderful. Fragments of those stories are part of the film.

We are honored to have been selected by the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival. We are very grateful.

- Gustavo Fontán

Born December 24th, 1960 in Banfield. BA in the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy and Letters at the University of Buenos Aires, studied Film Directing at the Centro Experimental de Realización Cinematográfica (ENERC). His films delve into the cross between fiction-reality and literature-cinema, including The Invisible Landscape (2003), The Tree (2006), The River Bank that Becomes Abysmal (2008), The Mother (2009), April’s Elegy (2010), The House (2011), The Face (2013, YIDFF 2015), and La deuda (2019). A teacher in the Faculty of Social Sciences UNLZ and Faculty of Fine Arts at the UNLP. Has given lectures, workshops and seminars at universities in Spain, Italy and the US.