Mikael Wiström
Sweden 2004 | 90 Min. | 35 mm, OmeU

In 1974, the Swedish pho­tog­ra­ph­er and jour­nal­ist Mikael Wiström trav­elled across Peru. While he was taking pic­tures of a rub­bish dump where poor people were trying to eke out a meagre living, a young man whose body was deformed by polio asked him what he was doing with his expen­sive camera. Between this Daniel Bar­ri­en­tos and the pho­tog­ra­ph­er, a spe­cial yet vul­ner­a­ble friend­ship devel­oped. In 1991, Wiström has become a film­mak­er and returns to Peru for the first time, where Daniel and his wife and four chil­dren are still barely making ends. The film COMPADRE was made last year, almost thirty years after the first encounter between the two men. The film­mak­er not only doc­u­ments the daily life of Daniel’s family, but also involves the spec­ta­tor in this great dilem­ma of the rich West­ern film­mak­er being con­front­ed with dire pover­ty, an exis­ten­tial inequal­i­ty that puts great pres­sure on the friend­ship. Wiström may call Daniel his ‘broth­er’, but how far does his “fra­ter­nal” respon­si­bil­i­ty extend?