“A Map for a Talk” (“Mapa Para Conversar”)
Three Characters/Two Days
A Woman, her female lover and her mother and are at the center of “A Map for a Talk”. They go through two days in two opposite settings—a day in Santiago, Chile and a day on a boat out on the water. The three are trapped by a claustrophobic conversation and we see an intense film, a character drama.
The film opens with Roberta (Andrea Moto) running through the neighborhood in her underwear carrying a bed frame and bed clothes. Then three female protagonists come together for a day out. What happens is more than they expected and their day out turns into expressions of self-doubt and insecurities. Constanza Fernandez, the director leads us into a world we have heard about but which we rarely get to see.
Roberta lives with her young son and her girlfriend, Javiera (Francisa Bernardi), a very sexually charged daughter of a political prisoner who has disappeared. She is a free spirit and supports herself and her lover by acting in porn movies and exhibiting herself on erotic websites. She and Roberta have been friends since they were in school together and now that they are living together as lovers, the time has come for Roberta to tell Ana (Mariana Prat), her mother that she is a lesbian. Ana lives a conservative life and she dismissed what her daughter tells her as being a fad. But, she also realizes that her daughter is a grown woman. Ana agrees to go sailing with Roberta and Javiera and while the three approach the day enthusiastically and hopefully, they are also apprehensive.
Everything starts smoothly but the tension builds and being on the water first seems to be a pleasant backdrop for a day out. It soon becomes prisonlike with the women trapped by the confines of the boat and as the day moves forward, the sea becomes choppy and the strain of their environment is manifested in several misunderstanding and conflicts.
Each of the women gives an excellent performance. We see the women as metaphors for the way that the society of Chile is divided. Roberta is the unifying character who serves as the balance for the complexities of the characters of the other two. Together they represent a culture whose modern ideas are in conflict with traditional values of conservatism which is rooted in conventional doctrine and religion. We do not see overt hostility but never lose sight of the two polarities and therefore uneasiness is omnipresent. The story of mother meets lesbian lover is certainly not new but here it is presented with a sense of intrigue.
In one sense this is a film with a strong political message but the viewer is not lectured and neither are any conclusions drawn. We simply get a look at social clashes with which we are all already familiar in that we know that they exist even if we are not directly drawn into them. There is no attempt to explain these conflicts; we just see them as they are.