BURBANK, Calif. — A series of thoughts, dialogues, video sequences, that’s what Natalia Lassalle-Morillo is writing down as she plans out her next project.
She’s a film director, actress and writer. She says when working on her projects, “Its not about what I want as much as about what am I noticing or what I’m seeing and what do I see that people don’t see or what do I understand that people do not understand because of who I am."
Lassalle-Morillo was born and raised in Puerto Rico. In one of her latest projects titled La Ruta, which in English translates to "The Route," she gives an in-depth look at Puerto Rico’s Panoramic route and the people who call the region their home.
La Ruta is one of two of Lassalle-Morillo’s films that the Latin American Cinemateca of Los Angeles used to kick off it’s 2020 season.
“It is an area that has been forgotten,, but it’s also an area that’s rich in all these different ways,” said Lassalle-Morillo about the Panoramic Route.
She shows not only the beauty, but also the abandoned infrastructure along the route. When most people see the documentary they assume it was shot after Hurricane Maria and the series of earthquakes that have hit the island. But Lassalle-Morillo shot the film in 2017, before Hurricane Maria devastated the area.
“When the hurricane happened the whole island suffered what it’s like to not have power, electric power but in these areas of the panoramic route there were areas that didn’t have power for months after the hurricane and that still don’t have power,” Lassalle-Morillo said.
One of her goals through the film is simply to give viewers a chance to get to know the people who live along this panoramic route. She says this is an area many people pass through but rarely stop.
“I want people to feel that they are immersed in this landscape and that they can understand that they can kind of get a sense or try to connect with the contradictions that are inherent on this island, like how is a place that is so beautiful, also so chaotic and also suffer so much,” she said.
In the end, the film gives people a small glimpse of the world in which people along the panoramic route live in everyday.