Hope in The Tiniest Place
The first opening images of Tatiana Huezo Sanchez’s The Tiniest Place are not only haunting and beautiful, but it’s apparent from the onset, that the forest will play an instrumental character in the film. In her interview with Cuéntame, she explains how the forest not only guided her directing decisions but also how its ghost like quality is representative of the souls of the people that died during the devastating civil war that plagued El Salvador in the 1980s.
The forest becomes a sacred, guiding force throughout that is further strengthened by the haunting voiceovers of the various townspeople that lost loved ones in the war and now have had to rebuild their lives and homes in the town of Cinquera. Sanchez bravely and intimately captures Cinquera’s sense of place with harrowing images and beautifully interweaves the tragic experiences of the townspeople with poignant, everyday moments. The lyrical and fluid cinematography speaks to the memory and loss that the townspeople of Cinquera have experienced. Sanchez’s feature directorial debut is impressive—and after watching the film at the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival, I was deeply affected not only by the personal stories of the townspeople but also captivated by their resilience and fortitude to embrace hope despite their tragic loss. The Tiniest Place represents not only a brave new voice in Latin American film but also an achievement for women filmmakers to express their unique perspectives on difficult subjects.