San Sebastián, Sep 20 (EFE).- The absence of its protagonist, the Mexican “sex-influencer” Lalo Santos, left a bitter and controversial note during the presentation this Tuesday in San Sebastián of “Pornomelancholia”, a film based on the real life of Santos directed by Argentinian Manuel Abramovich.

The film, which aspires to the Golden Shell, is a “docufiction” that reflects the loneliness of its protagonist and combines the homemade porn videos that Santos posts on his social networks with the shooting of another film, “Pornozapata”, that he was spinning. in his real life and in which he plays a gay Emiliano Zapata who has sexual encounters with different characters such as Pancho Villa.

“I’m interested in the transition between person and character,” Abramovich told a news conference in San Sebastián, “and how gender and patriarchy make us play the role of a strongman, who shouldn’t show feelings or break down”.

“From there I approached this film and when I met the protagonist on social networks, I felt fascination and admiration because Lalo directed his own life for his virtual audience with creativity and irony,” he explained.

Abramovich defined the process as a four-year “collaboration” with the actors and the rest of the crew to work on various issues that interested him: masculinity but also sex work, AIDS, depression or even the racism.

“I’m sad that Lalo isn’t here to tell the story because the film started out as an invitation to think together,” he said. “From the first time we had coffee together, I told him that it was going to be difficult to define what fiction and documentary was because we were going to take elements of his life.”

A few weeks ago, Santos tweeted that he would not attend the screening in San Sebastián because he did not agree with the conditions under which the film was shot. “There were serious shortcomings in the planning, as well as a lack of ability and sensitivity on the part of the director and the production,” he said.

Santos regrets that there were no mental health specialists on set. “I was pressured to record when I was emotionally broken and doing porn scenes even though I had expressed my refusal to do sex scenes. At that time my self-esteem was very low and I I was vulnerable to manipulation,” he said.

The sex worker asked the world of cinema to criticize and debate on “the relevance of using people without cinematic experience, vulnerable and suffering for the aesthetic pleasure of an ‘intellectual’ minority”.

Abramovich insisted during the press conference that two films were made at the same time, “Pornomelancolía” and “Pornozapata” by the Mexican production company Meco Films and that in his case they used the sex scenes as a “scene to talk about intimacy”. vulnerable characters who feel alone.

“It is not a film about pornography but about a feeling of great loneliness which is reflected this time after the pandemic.”

The Argentinian director, who began developing this project years ago during a residency at the San Sebastian Film Festival, added that in addition to being “sad”, he feels “perplexed” because it was a long collaborative process, but he says he takes it as a learning experience.

“I would love to talk to him to find out how he feels and rethink what he could have done better, but I understand there are risks involved in working with people.”

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