It is time to say what happened. Silence can’t last 30 years long. This is one of the strongest complaints from a daughter to her father in Cuestión de principios (A matter of principles), a piece that is presented until the end of this month in the only theater of the world located above a bridge.
Teatro del puente is the place where the performance of Amalia Kassai and Alejandro Goic give life to that daughter and father of this family divided by the father’s political affiliation. He, socialist, was part of the group that negotiated the transition to democracy. After years without talking he made contact with her, Amalia, for her to write memories that he has been written.
-You can’t write that.
-Because it is the story of my life.
-It is the story of this country, dad. It is time to say what happened. The silence can0t last 30 years long.
Who have the last word? The publisher says that the book can be a sales success, but only if it is the young journalist and editor who signs the memoir of the aging socialist. For the daughter, the life that her father protects so much is linked to a party that entertained him when he had to come to sing her happy birthday. It is the party where he became assiduous to drink alcohol with his companions. Drink and revolution. Or was the revolution first and then drinks?
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Flask in hand Alejandro asks Amalia to go ahead with the project. The flask will be an object that is repeated viciously in most scenes, demonstrating the vice of the protagonist for alcohol.
There are few things external to the duo of actors: a couple of chairs, a sheaf of papers for each one, the background screen that tells us the chapter of the work in which we are going. This projection also works as a kind of reading of the novel, are moments in which the characters need to discuss the writing of a paragraph. The father, in some way, does not want to subtract anything or count much more; the daughter wants to tear down everything, know everything, tell it all. Tell how the classmates got bourgeois while they went through lean times. Tell him where the principles of the match were.
It was a Trotsky date? What a shame!
The political afiliation changed from the resistance of the 80s to the current era, where a hyper connected cell phone is part of the life of every person who wants to do politics. Also, in other things, says Alejandro. They argue about how much was lost in the negotiation of the transition. Then, they talk until he screams that thanks to that defeat, she can stand with a megaphone in the street to shout her feminist slogans so fashionable without being killed. I MAKE NOT APOLOGY FOR ANYTHING! Stated Alejandro.
As they talk, another of the things in which the militancy has changed is that now anyone can look for the phrase that heatedly quoted this or that speaker of the assembly. As Amalia does with the Lenin quote that she has heard so many years from her father, and that he has proudly repeated before the people of his party. But it was not Lenin, it was the rejected Trotsky. They laugh and for a few minutes they become a united family again. They are tired of fighting among themselves, more knowing that “the enemies” are others. “They”, the publisher, that transnational, want to edit your life, they want to take control of every aspect, make her say things contrary to the integrity that he has instilled in her; or at least Alejandro thinks so. But it is her, and all the anger that showed throughout the work, which means the truths that an old man who was a communist does not want to tell, and that have made him live a restricted life in family privacy and in society of a country of truncated joy, of better times that did not arrive. One wonders if the force is coming, the voice of those born in the eighties.
Jesús Urqueta directs this version of Alejandro Goic of the work of the Argentinean Roberto Cossa, who is on the billboard of the Teatro del Puente until March 31. Next week at Arte Al Límite we will publish the interview with Jesús Urqueta, where he delves into the differences between the works of the author, where he is a dramatist, and those he directs on request, and how to choose those works is also a matter of principles.