When Lars Edman and William Johansson Kalén were at film school together they had no concept the length of time it required to make a motion picture. “We didn’t have any concept,” laughs Kalén. “I keep in mind enjoying a movie that took 3 years to make, and I was believing, ‘Oh, shit. 3 years? That’s a hell of a long period of time. Couldn’t they have finished it a bit quicker?'” Now, as the duo make their IDFA launching with the opening night of their 2nd feature-length doc “Arica” in Frontlight, they know just too well what it resembles to be in it for the long haul. States Kalén, “If just we ‘d known when we began that it would take 15 years …”
The story of “Arica” is remarkably personal: Edman was born in Chile however grew up in the Swedish village of Boliden, where the mining company of the very same name was first established. Instead, the waste simply stood in a stack, where kids made slides and mud pies, as the neighboring town of Arica expanded around it.
Edman’s disgust led to the 2009 movie “Poisonous Play area,” in which he and co-director William Johansson Kalén first drew attention to the catastrophe. States Kalén, “There was quite a lot of hassle after the first movie, at least in Sweden, with [politicians] coming out and discussing it.