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Documentary Film
69 minutes

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