Frente de fogo (Firefront): analysis of an epic story of survival
Frente de fogo invites us on a multiple journey through the story of a Portuguese fireman who unbelievably survived the forest fires that devastated his country in the summer of 2017. Isabel Meira’s production is based on a very strong story and backed with strong, honest testimonies. It’s the tale of a survivor and the tale of a surviving family. Frente de fogotackles such fundamental questions as: What does one do in the face of an exceptional situation and a danger of death? What is it like to live in hell for several hours? How do you survive this? How can your family survive this?
This review aims to analyse the narrative in Frente de fogo, pointing out its strong points and suggesting how to improve its weakest points. The analysis addresses three issues: the categorisation of the documentary as a “production without a narrator” and the demanding nature of that genre; the reconstruction of a dialogue through editing between the two main characters; and the creative treatment of sound and space in the piece, especially linked with the creation of emotion and the rhythm of the production.