The Global Search for Education: Director Nacho Ros Bernal Explores Loneliness, Abandonment and Resilience in Without a Map
This month audiences can screen Without a Map by Director Nacho Ros Bernal on the Planet Classroom Network.
The story is focused on a teenager, Rebeca. Once upon a time, Rebeca was happy but one day, just like Alice in Wonderland, she falls into a strange world. Without any way to navigate her new labyrinth, how will Rebeca overcome new challenges and find her way back?
The Global Search for Education is pleased to welcome Nacho Ros Bernal.
Your film starts with the lead character being introduced to Alice in Wonderland. What inspired you to choose Alice?
The story of Alice in Wonderland is a tale that speaks about adolescence and those worlds that are unknown to us in which we have lost ourselves. It occurred to me that the family member of a person with acquired brain damage enters a similar disoriented world, as many teenagers do.
What similarities do you see between the characters in your movie and the characters from the Alice story?
Rebeca, the main character, enters as Alice into a strange world. Her mother resembles the cat, who appears and disappears for work reasons, also while reading the tale with her daughter. The father is always aware of the clock and measures everything through time, so he also lives in a kind of stress. Elena, the teacher, resembles Alice’s sister who brings her back to reality. There’s also another teacher, the smoking caterpillar that undergoes a transformation, and the queen, in this case the teacher who says something like “cut off his head” but within the classroom situation.
How would you describe your creative process in producing this story? Did you have a clear vision at the beginning in terms of what you wanted to do? Were there discoveries or even surprises you made along the way?
The story began when I first heard the song “Without a Map” by Marketa Irglova.
Later, the story evolved, so I wrote it and started making a storyboard.
In pre-production, I surrounded myself with students. Some did not live up to what I wanted to capture and it was a difficult pre-production, but finally we managed to keep things going. It’s very important to surround yourself with a good team of people and professionals because they are going to help you to fulfill your dream of filming your story. Finally, a team becomes a little family.
How would you describe the most important lessons you learned from the process?
It’s possible to recreate what you imagined, it’s possible to make a pact with your dreams and your work, but there’s always a price to pay. You must think if what you gain is more important than what you will lose along the way.
What are the biggest takeaways you want for your audience when they watch your film?
Many of us have felt lonely or abandoned at some point. This story tries to tell us that in the end, although everything seems otherwise, we aren’t alone, and life, in spite of its hardness and that sometimes it seems like a labyrinth with no way out (like Alice’s story), life is wonderful. The story invites young people to appreciate the beauty, gift and challenge of life, to walk always accompanied by those who love us, and the importance of a teacher too. There is a second reading of the short film, and it’s that this story invites us to believe … BELIEVE! … that we are not alone in this world, that there is a God, a Providence, a loving hand or whatever we want to call it, who cares for us and loves us. Like that wind that blows and drags the daughter at the right moment, like that person we meet when we least expect it.
Thank you Nacho!
Nacho Ros Bernal and C.M. Rubin
Don’t Miss Without a Map by Director Nacho Ros Bernal, now screening on the Planet Classroom Network.