‘Liquid Truth’ director leaves ending to interpretation

Director Carolina Jabor’s Liquid Truth (also known as Aos Teus Olhos) featured at the 53rd Annual Chicago International Film Festival, tells the story of a swim instructor who is accused of inappropriate behavior with a student. I sat down with Jabor to discuss the chemistry between director and lead actor Daniel de Oliveira (who had difficulty playing character “Rubens”) and the film’s open-ended conclusion.

Stephanie A. Taylor (SAT): How did you get the opportunity to direct the film Liquid Truth?

Carolina Jabor (CJ): I’m always looking for good projects to direct and film. I had finished my first feature and I was looking for another story. For me it is important to portray the reality of our contemporary world, so I was looking for stories based on life. When I read it I was very interested to discuss that social media issue. There is a friend who is a publisher and she was translating Spanish drama. I read it. I was looking for short films, films that I could do fast, that are set on one or two locations. I was looking for low-budget stories otherwise we would wait a lot to shoot.

SAT: How was it working together?

CJ: He’s amazing. I love that part of my work. It gives me so much pleasure to create. You need the complexity and you need to believe in each other. I think you have to create together, that character; that person you’re going to portray.

SAT: Was the ending implied to tease the audience or was it open to interpretation?

CJ: It’s an open ending. We are saying that in Portuguese the name of the film is called Through Your Eyes. It’s a way to let the audience decide. I released the film last week in Brazil. I had a Q&A. And I was very impressed with how people analyzed the characters. And, could understand the mother, the father, Rubens the instructor. I think for that reason we gave the audience the choice to think. There were a lot of interpretations that I was very impressed with.

SAT: Describe your experience while working on the film.

CJ: You give a lot to the process, you have to create another reality. You have to go deep in the story. You have a very short time and have to work double. I worked at night and in the morning. It’s a very beautiful thing to be related to with a film that you have respect with that story and with the characters. You have to be generous with the story. It’s a crazy thing. It’s almost like an army and you have to have a great crew.

SAT: How long did it take to shoot?

CJ: Three weeks. Amazing. It was very intense.

SAT: Have you had any backlash as a woman director, and if so how do you handle it?

CJ: Actually, I don’t think so. Not in specific situations. I’ve worked such a long time. So yes we struggle a lot, we fight a lot. I’m always working. I never stop to think ‘I’m suffering from sexism.’ You have to be stronger than a man, you have to believe in yourself.

© Stephanie A. Taylor (10/30/17) FF2 Media

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Stephanie A. Taylor is a multi-award-winning journalist whose accolades span three publications including FF2. Some of her favorite articles she's written are Emma Cooper’s ‘The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Lost Tapes, FACETS Honors Chaz Ebert F2F at Screen Gems 2022 Benefit, and Dorothy Arzner’s ‘Merrily We Go to Hell’ Discusses Modern Day Problems. She currently lives in Chicago. Reading, writing, and watching old films are some of her many passions.
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