Film Archive

Countries (Film Archive)

Corta

Documentary Film
Argentina,
Colombia,
France
2012
69 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Felipe Guerrero, mutokino
Felipe Guerrero
Iannis Xenakis
Andrés Pineda
Felipe Guerrero
Roberta Ainstein - Lena Esquenazi
At first the sugar cane field looks like a huge green wall, a wall that will take the workers days to overcome. The sugar cane cutters begin their day by sharpening their machetes before they start to work. Blow by blow. The camera keeps its distance as it observes their smooth movements. Soon every sense of time is lost, the sugar cane cutters’ rhythmic movements develop their own choreography, and time seems to expand. The more sugar cane they cut the brighter the screen. The sky, the hill and the green landscape surrounding the field emerge.
This flow is interrupted by a black screen like the end of a reel. Then the process begins again. The rhythm of the machetes and the workers’ steps on the dry leaves merge with the conceptual music of this film. Felipe Guerrero refrains from any sociological discourse about the cutters’ situation and working conditions. It’s the abstraction that brings out the exploitative element of this archaic labour all the more clearly.

– Paulo de Carvalho
Extended Reality: DOK Neuland 2015
Criers of Medellín

“Criers of Medellín” is a virtual tour of the city of Medellín. We find ourselves in an interactive Google Street View map where every player chooses their own path through the Colombian metropolis to collect the market criers’ stories.

2015

Criers of Medellín

(none)
Colombia
2015
480 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Spanish
French

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Crea Digital Submission, Carabalí – Creative Collective, Thibault Durand, Baobab Group
Thibault Durand
“Criers of Medellín” is a virtual tour of the city of Medellín. We find ourselves in an interactive Google Street View map where every player chooses their own path through the Colombian metropolis to collect the market criers’ stories. Surrounded by a web of chants and original urban sounds we listen closely to the singing street sellers’ fears, desires and realities of life. Spots you would pass as a tourist with an amused look become the places where you stop to find an exciting world revealed in personal video portraits.

Grandmother

Animated Film
Colombia
2012
9 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Carlos Eduardo Smith Rovira
Carlos Eduardo Smith Rovira
Sebastián Villaneuva, Urián Sarmiento
Jose Gerardo Arce
Miguel Otálora
Libia Stella Gómez and Carlos Smith
Jefferson Rosas, Andrés Herrera
Relatives aren’t always close. Especially when they are infinitely older. The seven-year-old city girl spends a weekend in the country at her grandmother’s place. She is very scared. But then a thunderstorm comes up …

Homo Botanicus

Documentary Film
Colombia,
France
2018
88 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Nicolás Van Hemelryck, Clare Weiskopf, Pierre-Emmanuel Urcun, Guillermo Quintero
Guillermo Quintero
Violeta Cruz
Guillermo Quintero
Julie Borvon, Guillermo Quintero
Guillermo Quintero
Marc-Olivier Brullé
A professor and his master student set out to explore the untouched tropical Andes Mountains. The eminent botanist Julio Betancur has already collected more than 19,000 species of plants and archived them in a giant herbarium in Bogotá that he keeps expanding, assisted at the moment by his young follower Cristian. The director, Guillermo Quintero, was a student of Betancur more than fifteen years ago before he studied philosophy in Paris and later turned to filmmaking. He still feels respect for his former mentor today, and fascination for the seemingly anachronistic and romantic scientist’s view of the rich flora. The filmmaker follows the unusual pair, commenting events from offscreen as an outside observer. We detect admiration for their passion, but also doubt about their meticulous collecting. Is this kind of classification of nature still in keeping with the times?

In his debut film Quintero allows himself to be pulled into the eddying timelessness of the tropical forest. Varied and artful shots of the fauna show a surprisingly different and mystic view of Colombia, communicating the image of a country with a budding film industry whose authors devote themselves predominantly to political or personal conflicts.

Annina Wettstein

Isolated

Documentary Film
Colombia,
Ecuador,
Mexico
2015
73 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Marcela Lizcano, Juan Pablo Solano, Simon Beltrán Echeverri, Sarahi Echeverría
Marcela Lizcano
Daniel Velasco
Marcela Lizcano, Cecilia Madorno
Carla Valencia, Étienne Boussac
Marcela Lizcano
Daniel "el gato" Najar Garcés
The tiny island of Santa Cruz is part of the San Bernardo archipelago off the Colombian Caribbean coast, situated within sight of its big sister Múcura. It’s not really an island, more of a coral reef that fishermen used for storage in the past. Then they brought their families here from the mosquito plagued islands, built huts, and today Santa Cruz is a city: 1,200 square metres, 97 houses, 500 inhabitants. Crowded with people and goods this unlikely place serves as a metaphor for our planet for the Colombian director Marcela Lizcano. El Cabo, an old fisherman and lobster diver, acts as a guide who knows how to describe the changes: fish is running low, the lobsters are disappearing and the sea has already swallowed six of the original 16 islands around Santa Cruz. His reflections lead to a residents’ meeting which demonstrates on a small scale how obstinacy, corruption and greed destroy our world. And then there are the children who roam everywhere and for whom the sea is a playground. Their future is not in Santa Cruz. They are drawn to the mainland, where the fun is. They will miss the sea when they wake up there in the mornings. With “Isolated” the director has created the very affectionate portrait of a community whose crisis mirrors all our problems. The only thing is – where can we go?

Matthias Heeder

Jail

Animated Film
Colombia
2018
12 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Catalina Vásquez Salazar, Juan Pablo Tamayo
Catalina Vásquez Salazar
Jose Santamaría
Sebastián Quintero Mesa
David Castaño Luján
Sebastián Quintero Mesa, Catalina Vásquez Salazar, Julián García Mejía, David Castaño Luján
Catalina Vásquez Salazar
Oscar Rojo, Jose Santamaría
Eight-year-old Laura gets a letter from her father containing a rabbit story that explains his absence. Based on real interviews, Catalina Vásquez Salazar constructs a disturbing story in which the visual and textual levels are initially far apart. The adolescent daughter approaches reality only through gradually exposed inconsistencies and alarming impressions as she frequently visits her father in jail.

André Eckardt

Land Within

Documentary Film
Colombia,
Finland
2016
60 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Jenni Kivistö
Jenni Kivistö
Andrés Estefan Ramírez, Samuel Valkola
Otto Andersson
Jenni Kivistö
Jarkko Kela, Rafael Ospino Betancourt
A film in dreamtime and a nomadic reflection on the alien and the familiar: Finnish filmmaker Jenni Kivistö feels a strange kinship to the Wayuu tribe who live in the desert between Colombia and Venezuela. The seriousness, but also the silence of these people seem eerily familiar to her – a closeness she carefully nourishes and questions. She approaches the reality of this distant place in the north of South America in four chapters of enchanting and powerful imagery, interspersed with light and lyrical notes that resemble diary entries. The attention she pays to a Wayuu myth of origin is as great as the serene curiosity with which she incorporates everyday moments and dreams, strange rituals and ghostly incidents in her narrative.

At some point Kivistö relates her encounter with a little boy who teaches her a few words of his language while she in turn teaches him Finnish vocabulary. Some terms are similar. Others bear no relationship to each other at all. There’s only one word that means the same in Finnish and Wayuu: “maa”. It’s the word for earth. Or: the land.

Ralph Eue
International Programme 2014
Marmato Mark Grieco

In the Colombian village of Marmato international corporations are fighting for the gold in the mountain and the locals for their existence. A globalisation thriller with strong characters.

Marmato

Documentary Film
Colombia,
USA
2014
88 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Stuart Reid, Mark Grieco
Mark Grieco
Todd Boekelheide
Mark Grieco
Ricardo Acosta, Mark Grieco
Noah Conti
Mark Grieco, Stuart Reid
Bob Edwards
Every day Dumar says goodbye to his wife and kids in a long ceremony of kisses and blessings as if it was the last time. Equipped with the spiritual protection of his family and the religious protection of the statue of a Jesus with outstretched arms that looks over the green mountains of Colombia from the town of Marmato, he enters the gold mine. For over 500 years, the locals have been digging and blasting narrow tunnels into a mountain that threatens to collapse any minute. But the miners have nothing but gold, even though they are the ones who profit least from it. There has been an international gold rush going on here since the government opened the gates to foreign corporations in 2006. It’s to be the end of the ancient methods. A Canadian company wants to strip-mine the mountain, allegedly in a socially and ecologically sustainable manner. But what will become of Marmato? The battle for one of the biggest gold deposits in the world has begun.
Mark Grieco followed the complex disputes surrounding the exploitation of the mountain, the existence and identity of the natives for six years in a film that has already garnered a number of awards. As tightly plotted as a suspense novel – and with fairly novelistic characters – he tells a tale of growing resistance against globalisation. The current gold rate, burned into the tunnel walls, delivers the comment on the various situations and an old balladeer in a cowboy hat picks his ironic songs on his guitar.
Lars Meyer
Animadoc 2014
Old Folks' Tales – Ysabel. Fear Comes Down From Heaven Marcelo Dematei, Carlos Smith

Memories are linked to personal and shared (hi)stories.
In this episode, Ysabel talks about her experiences in the Spanish Civil War in Bilbao in 1937.

Old Folks' Tales – Ysabel. Fear Comes Down From Heaven

Animadoc
Colombia,
Spain
2013
5 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Carlos Smith
Marcelo Dematei, Carlos Smith
BSO
Carlos Smith, Diego Fonti
Carolina Robledo Forero, Marcelo Dematei, Carlos Smith
Edi Calderón
Memories are linked to personal and shared (hi)stories. The transmedia project “Old Folks’ Tales” attempts to make the memories of senior citizens accessible to younger people via an animadoc television series, an interactive website and workshops. In this episode, Ysabel talks about her experiences in the Spanish Civil War in Bilbao in 1937.

Our Song to War

Documentary Film
Belgium,
Colombia
2018
15 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Juanita Onzaga, Jan Stevens, Sofie Despeer
Juanita Onzaga
Juanita Onzaga
Juanita Onzaga, Romain Vennekens
Juanita Onzaga
Jérémy Bocquet
An unusual commemoration called “novenario” – a nine-day prayer in honour of the dead. But actually it’s about souls, water spirits, crocodile people and ghosts living on the sites of massacres and haunting people. Today’s children have long forgotten which grave belongs to their family. Memories of the dead civilians in Bojayá, Colombia, killed in a skirmish between FARC rebels and paramilitary forces in May 2002.

Saskia Walker
International Programme 2015
Sabogal Sergio Mejia Forero, Juan José Lozano

Animated political thriller based on real events in Colombia. A fictitious lawyer is caught in a web of politicians, drug dealers, paramilitaries and the army … Intense.

Sabogal

Animated Film
Colombia
2015
106 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Liliana Rincon
Sergio Mejia Forero, Juan José Lozano
Enrique Bernal
Sergio Mejía Forero
Ana Acosta
Sergio Mejía Forero
Juan José Lozano, Patricia Guerrero, Mauricio Montes, Carlos Peralta
Juan Manuel Mesa
An animated political thriller based on historical events that were among the most notorious cases of human rights violations in Colombia between 1999 and 2009. They include the massacre of Mapiripán, the killings of the professors of the Universidad del Atlántico in Barranquilla, the “false positives” scandal and the Administrative Department of Security‘s wiretapping affair.

The film opens with the real life murder of the comedian and journalist Jaime Garzón in 1999. The human rights lawyer Fernando Sabogal, a fictional character, gets entangled in a long and difficult judicial process to solve this state crime which will reveal the unsavoury links between drug dealers, politicians, paramilitary groups and the armed forces.

This is the first Colombian animation feature that uses motion capture, a technique where the actors’ movements, facial expressions and voices are recorded simultaneously. It was mainly animated in Blender, an open source 3D software. In this case, the animation works as a device to establish some distance to the subject of violence in Colombia. This allows the viewer to get a different perspective, which in fact creates an intense experience.

Victor Orozco

Sometimes Two Herons

Animated Film
Colombia
2018
12 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Carla Melo Gampert
Carla Melo Gampert
Carla Melo Gampert
Carla Melo Gampert
Jaime Pinilla, Nathalie Gampert
In Bogotá’s noisy and violent big city machine people carry their nature only limply in their hands, surrendering without resistance to disconcerting rituals. The daughter of a bird flees to her father in the province. The initial playful lightness there is soon damped by an indeterminate heaviness. The associative story flows through animated ink drawings, pausing in short dance scenes, sometimes surreal and lyrical, sometimes earthly and direct.

André Eckardt

The Shape of Now

Documentary Film
Colombia,
Norway
2018
70 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Augusto Cesar Sandino, Emil Olsen, Manuel Correa
Manuel Correa
Simón Mesa Giraldo
Manuel Correa, Angelica Toro, John Jarlen Quiroz
Manuel Correa
Sebastián Munera, Manuel Correa, Francisco Londoño, Emil Olsen
Francisco Londoño, Emil Olsen
At first an insect works its way out of the ground – laboriously, trying to get its bearings, brushing the heavy sand from its wings. Coming out of the soil it pierces the surface of the planet and turns once around itself, exactly as if it was taking a look around the present it just crawled into. Manuel Correa’s experimental documentary is a lot like this industrious animal that has soil sticking to its body, whose eyes are still clouded and whose wings are still flapping slowly.

According to estimates around 200,000 people lost their lives in the 50-year Colombian civil war. Another 25,000 were kidnapped, many are still considered missing. When the peace deal between the government and the FARC rebels was made in November 2016, guns were banned from the conflict. But the country’s population have since faced the almost impossible task of having to agree on a common past. “The Shape of Now” illuminates this strenuous process and thus Colombia’s leaden present from very different perspectives. And just like the people of this country – the survivors, the grieving mothers, the historians and experts – this film, too, is still in first orientation mode.

Lukas Stern