FOCUS COLOMBIA

SPECIMEN OF THE COLOMBIAN DOCUMENTARY

Curator: Jairo E. Cruz Silva

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The Documentary in Colombia has had great importance and a very significant role on the national and international scene.  Such documentary-makers as Marta Rodríguez, Oscar Ocampo, Luis Ospina, Diego García-Moreno, Germán Gutiérrez, Marcela Gómez and Carlos Bernal, among others, and also other groups who have been working for many years and are beginning to see their international triumphs such as Carlos Cesar Arbeláez, who last year won the Zabaltegui New Directors prize at the San Sebastian Film Festival with his full-length film, “Los Niños de la Montaña”, which is the most important prize that any Colombian film has won at a first-class European Festival, and likewise there are the members of the Nickel Group, Óscar Mario Estrada, Carlos Obando and Germán Freddy Valencia.

The season of Colombian Documentaries which have been selected for this special in “Guía de Isora”  are a good reflection of the variety of stories which take place in the country, where they are part of day-to-day life: political corruption, excesses by the military men, paramilitaries, groups rising up in arms, drug traffickers, the displacements, a situation that they illustrate very well:  Marta Rodríguez’s Documentary, “Testigos de un etnocidio: memorias de resistencia”. For forty years, she has been investigating, filming the native communities, the peasants and Afro-Colombians. Likewise, the recently-released “Impunidad” by Juan Lozano and the leading journalist, Hollman Morris, who give an excellent X-Ray of the terrible executions of peasants by para-military groups and the trial which is currently taking place.

We must not fail to mention the work of Erwin Göggel, a symphony of images, experiences, of the Afro-Colombian communities, including two interesting life-stories: a result of the project of the film-maker, Juan Diego Caicedo: “Cine al patio”, who for seven years was filming in the prisons of Bogotá and the documentary “Reciclando recuerdos”, an interesting experience of the search for a father, who had abandoned his daughters.

The documentary in Colombia is the other way of looking at that lethargy, that manipulation of government and means of communication about Colombian society and he who thinks differently suffers political persecution. Let us see what the new Government of National Unity will bring but in any case, the documentary will continue to fulfil its important role.

 

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