I did a bit of light reading on documentary filmmaker Ana Endara’s work and those pieces of criticism wrote highly of her visual flair. This time around she brings her new project For Your Peace of Mind, Make Your Own Museum. She works with fellow director Pilar Moreno to capture the objects that a Panamanian woman, Senobia, curated and created. She painted and sculpted animals, sometimes in conventional ways, at other times not.
Senobia collected the phones that she and her friends and neighbors had over the years. Sometimes, objects appear in the context that Senobia preferred them to be, They appear in what seemed like a vast, forest-y property around her home. At others, the camera gives each object attention, the same kind of attention she must have given them. The objects she collected had labels indicating which year she used them, that number more effective than any caption can even be.
These images together create an interesting approach to its subject. For Your Peace features interviews of women around Senobia’s age who knew the woman. They revealed their own relationship with her home museum during and after she occupied the space. It also showed her letters where she wrote both in Spanish and French. The documentary pairs those images with the occasional voice over of someone playing her. The film chooses wisely to approach the subject through her philosophy than through otherwise boring facts. And closing up on these objects reminds viewers of their relationships with objects in a museum. That someone made or owned those objects, and the film makes us feel that presence more than it does in a conventional museum. These closeups of objects also remind us how far away we can become to each other. What we leave behind is obviously more permanent than us.
For Your Peace of Mind, Make Your Own Museum has its Hot Docs Premiere on May 2.