In an exclusive interview with Spoiler, director Sara Seligman talks about her debut feature, Coyote Lake, movie made in America.
Two women, a mother and a daughter, run a hostel located next to a border lake. But beyond being an apparent tourist or adventure landscape, This site is a place of passage for those who flee or perpetrate violence without knowing that there they will find even more danger at the hands of their caregivers.
Teresa (Adriana Barraza) is a protective mother with Ester (Camila Mendes), a teenager who has learned more about death than life because of her mother. And that can be seen in the secret that hides the depth of the lake: corpses thrown by both.
Fortunate, or unfortunate? For living in an area where they can commit shady actions with total impunity because there is no law, his life changes with the appearance of two subjects who will have to test, without knowing it, who is stronger in an environment where survival instincts prevail.
“We are living through a period of violence that reaches the least imagined places and in the most unthinkable situations. This story is raised from the complex relationship between a mother and her daughter who live in an adverse environment where they are or are others. I wanted my main characters to be women because women can also make crime or suspense films without having to fall in the woods or be the victims ”, says director Sara Seligman to Spoiler.
Teresa and Ester also lead us to reflect on how toxic or unhealthy the relationship between mother and daughter can be. In this sense, the violent atmospheres, past and current circumstances of some regions, force to hide, distort or transform the love that in theory should exist between these two beings.
“Relationships between parents and children are very difficult. Not all of them are that pure love of cuddles. There are also frictions, clashes and questions as a consequence of the different characters, as well as the environments in which they have grown up. In this case, my job is not to judge these women but to show them in the complexity of an umbilical cord that is not easy for either of them to break ”.
So that Coyote Lake If possible, Sara Seligman had to face and circumvent a reality that many directors and screenwriters face: being in charge of her own work. When she presented the script to producers, the story appealed to them to the degree of wanting to invest in its making, but on the condition that it was not directed by her.
It took him almost a decade to fulfill his dream of directing his debut. The wait was worth it because he was able to materialize his dream twice: to make his first film and have Adriana Barraza as the star.
“When I showed Adriana Barraza the story, she loved it. He helped me a lot to raise the project because he showed it to his contacts, asked that they trust me. I couldn’t believe it because I’ve always wanted her to be the actress in my film ”.
His film could be released in American theaters during 2019, as well as in European theaters, however, Sara wants her work to be seen in Mexico: “Although I live in the United States, I am Mexican and I want the Mexican public to let me know their opinion, I also want us to know how those of us who live here are telling stories.”
Coyote Lake was filmed in Texas for 15 days, distant from Falcon Lake, a real lake in which Seligman was inspired to develop his script and whose territory is controlled by organized crime.
* Can be seen on Apple TV, iTunes.