Ivan Lowenberg On ‘No Quiero Ser Polvo’ at Guadalajara Construye

(*)In director Ivan Lowenberg’s second feature,

(“I Don’t Want to Be Dust”), a middle-aged woman is struggling to feel relevant to an indifferent husband, a shlub of a son and, well, life, in general.“No quiero ser polvo”She’s sharp enough to see through the fake mysticism of New Age-ish gurus and the airy platitudes of her yoga instructor, but she takes refuge in a cult that that is mostly interested in selling must-have’s from the gift shop and doomsday predictions that Bego eagerly and almost joyfully embraces.

Lewenberg recalled that his family was New Ageish and he had been raised in an unusually New Age-ish household that believed in the power of thunderstorms to bring good fortune.

It’s a social phenomenon that has even infused politics in recent years.“I began to ask myself: What could be behind a person whose main motivation in being alive is a cataclysm of big proportions?”
Lowenberg explained that this was the case.

VarietyHe took the time to answer questions at Guadalajara Film Festival. It’s also a personal tale. It even stars his mom.This seems like an ideal time to make a movie about people in turmoil and their eventual saviors. It seems like a global phenomenon right now. Was that what prompted you?

The story is inspired by a true event that happened to my family back in the ‘90s. My family was very New Age and I was brought up in this environment. The three days of darkness theory became very popular with my parents and friends. Everything around us suddenly seemed to be part of a transition into a new dimension. Even an electrical storm felt like it was.

We adjusted our vision to match our belief. Around 2010, I was able to hear people talk with this strange, catastrophic excitement about the approaching three days of darkness. This is when I began to question my own motives for being alive. People believe one thing, and then try to convince others to believe it. Many triggers that affected my family nucleus at the time are still in force and perhaps in a more marked and widespread way: Tensions of a tremendous nature, the difficulty in distinguishing between reality and spectacle, economic and ecological crises of obscene dimensions, loneliness in a hyper-connected world, so exposed and so consumerist… it is easy to feel tiny and inconsequential.“suspicious abnormal electrical storm”Did your visualization of the narrative start from a social
 perspective and then there emerged the main character? Your protagonist Bego was you based on someone real?

It was a character perspective that I used to start writing the script. The main actress in the story is my mom, who plays a fictionalized version. I have adapted what we experienced to a possible conflict for a woman her own age and in our time. She is making her acting debut and I am very proud of her performance. The film was screened to some industry people, who were surprised that it was her debut. They believe she is a veteran actress whom they happen to not know.

This is your second feature in the role of director. How was the experience?

I don’t know how to describe the experience because it has taken us almost ten years to film it, so we have gone through a lot of ups and downs. The shooting experience was wonderful. I was supported by a small but talented cast and crew who helped me finish the film in two-and a half weeks. This was at the height the pandemic. Although we had no margin for error, there was the possibility of tensions and fighting. However, the crew made it feel like an enjoyable journey. They were able to make it flow very smoothly and I am grateful.

Are you positive that this film has an international audience?

The story is focused on one group and theory. However, it is human to seek out truths that will make us feel validated, with purpose, or give us a sense belonging. It is nice to feel important and confident about the future. We may even do some crazy things to get that feeling for a second. This sentiment is universally understood by people all over the world.

Ivan Lowenberg

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Image Credits CHRISTOPHER NAVARRO/FICG

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