The protagonists don’t speak – which only makes the images all the more telling in this drama about three women who manage to escape a dangerous war situation in different places in the jungle. One day, La Mona stabs her sleeping boyfriend, a brutal paramilitary commander. She flees. A second woman, Rocío, also has to leave her place of residence, as it is surrounded by paramilitary troops. Nelsa is one of the paramilitaries, but she turns her back on them after being forced to bury the dismembered bodies of executed farmers.
Rocío is attacked by soldiers in a bus deep in the rainforest, while La Mona struggles through a river. Meanwhile, Nelsa continues her journey in a pick-up truck with the man who helped her desert. On their way to Bogotá, all three women come across other displaced persons – the desplazados – as well as demonstrators carrying photos of their lost loved ones.
Despite the dramatic events, Oscuro animal manages to preserve a sense of calm in its imagery, which is almost serene. Director Felipe Guerrero, who made the film with support from the Hubert Bals Fund, allows these persecuted women space. The absence of dialogue sharpens our attentiveness to ambient sound: the birds in the rainforest, the music on the radio and the fall of the raindrops that caress Nelsa’s face once her life has grown more peaceful again.
“Colombian director Felipe Guerrero’s first feature film is a brave and innovative attempt.”
— Roberto Oggiano, Cineuropa
1.80GB | 1 h 46 min | 1920×1040 | mkv