Alma’s violent confessions
This interaction allows the viewer to control their experience of the film, giving them the opportunity to react to the story and select the scenes and shots in a reflection of their emotions.
“You give them a choice,” said Kar, “on how to engage with the material. It is such harrowing and hard stuff to watch at times, you do offer that choice if do you want to engage with Alma or would you rather look at visuals and just take a breather from what your digesting. You don’t get to do that with a conventional documentary.”
Brachet went on to explain how he intended the documentary to work:
“Technically it is two movies running at exactly the same time and it is up to you to decide to stay with the confession or to escape, you will never know what you will find if you escape, sometimes it is quiet, sometimes not.”
One audience member commented that taking the interactive element aside you were left with the powerful voice of Alma intercut with the most brutal images of the gang’s chaotic world. When asked how closely linked these images were to Alma’s story, Brachet said:
“Sometimes on the screen you have friends of Alma, sometimes you have Alma . . . and sometimes [you have] absolutely no connection in terms of family but still very close. [It was] the next neighbourhood, another gang – so it is always the truth.”
Alma’s confession is presented in a linear narrative that leads the audience to finding out that Alma is now a paraplegic after she was shot by her gang. When asked if the confession happened organically or if it was directed Brachet said:
“Miquel and Isabelle knew Alma for a long time. . . . They met many many times without recording. Alma told [her] story many times, so of course when we met with a camera we knew her story, obviously we directed her to [tell us] what we are interested to tell you [about] and make [it] exactly want we want.”
Brachet worked with photographer Miquel Dewever-Plana and writer Isabelle Fougère to bring together Alma’s story. The iPad app is just a small part of story that also includes an interactive web documentary, two books and a film. You can find out more about Alma’s tale or watch her confession yourself here.