“You are nothing but a white!” So shouts indigenous Amazonian shaman Karamakate (Nilbio Torres) to the seemingly on-the-level but still suspicious German scientist/explorer Theodor (Jan Bijvoet) in Ciro Guerra’s enthralling, politically tinged, psychedelic, historical adventure film Embrace of the Serpent. Reversing the perspective of more familiar movies such as Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo or Roland Joffé’s The Mission, Embrace of the Serpent’s snaky crawl up the river investigates imperialism’s cultural pollution from the inside out, with the mystical Karamakate as a reluctant tour guide in two time periods. Continue reading Ciro Guerra – El abrazo de la serpiente AKA Embrace of the Serpent (2015)
In his twilight years, Silvio Vega, a child of the destitution and violence of Columbia’s countryside, takes a trip with his two grandchildren to force them to kill him instead of dying of old age. Continue reading Rubén Mendoza – Tierra en la Lengua AKA Dust on the Tongue (2014)
An adult male, 155 centimeters tall, of dark complexion; presents frontal baldness, regular eyebrows, brown eyes, wide nose, big mouth with thick lips, slight upper lip hair and big ears with free hanging lobes. He shows paralysis in the lower limbs, an open sore in the left gluteus and an old wound from a firearm projectile in the back; he moves in a wheelchair.
Premiered in Director’s Fortnight, Cannes Film Festival.
Continue reading Alejandro Landes – Porfirio (2011)
Roa has no job and a family to feed. Gaitán, leader of the Colombian Liberal Party, is a man whom he admires greatly. Perhaps Gaitán will have work for him. On the contrary. Gaitán treats him with disdain. A naive, superstitious man, Roa’s disappointment quickly turns to anger and bitterness. Seething with revenge, he begins to plot Gaitán’s assasination. Before he gets too far, however, Roa comes to his senses. Unfortunately, things are no longer under Roa’s control. Too many people are involved and his family begins receiving threatening messages. Roa is damned either way… Continue reading Andrés Baiz – Roa (2013)
One might consider this violent adaptation of the classical Greek tragedy as Sophocles with a South American twist. Set amidst the rebel wars (representing the Theban plagues) of contemporary Colombia, Mayor Edipo (Oedipus) must mediate a peace deal between conflicting guerrilla groups and the army. It is raining when he leaves. His journey is interrupted when he gets into a shoot out on a lonely bridge. Returning fire, Edipo somehow escapes. As soon as he gets to town he hears that a prominent leader, Layo was brutally slain. No one knows who shot him. Meanwhile a blind seer wanders town making dire prophecies concerning Edipo’s future. It is he who tells the mayor that Layo was murdered by a family member. Edipo’s fate is sealed when he gets involved with the beautiful and much older Yocasta, a woman who last had sex thirty years before with her husband Layo. She got pregnant and bore a son… Tragedy ensues.
Continue reading Jorge Alí Triana – Edipo alcalde AKA Oedipus Mayor (1996)