John Sayles

John Sayles

If Sayles*@@* films could be described in two words, they would be independence and commitment. Independence in his choice of movies far from the exorbitant budgets and giant Hollywood studios, commitment to a portrayal of the world as he knows it and of the human condition, uncovering its greatness as well as its misery.

The self-proclaimed grandfather of North American cinema, John Sayles has never lost his relevance in his almost forty years of storytelling. His films*@@* recurring themes are not Hollywood*@@*s most popular subjects - they are the other face of the U.S. system: corruption, immigration, speculation, exploitation, theft and abuse of power. The recurrent themes explore an unfair world in which some have the power, money, weapons and tools to beat down and impose their will on others, while others, seemingly worthless, hold in their hands the power of organization, solidarity, friendship and dreams.

The 54th International Film Festival of Cartagena de Indias (FICCI) will be presenting a retrospective of ten of Sayles*@@* 21 films as a director, 35 as a screenwriter and 29 as an actor. Within the festival*@@*s Special Presentations section, we*@@*ll have the opportunity to see his most recent film Go for Sisters (2013), a film about friendship back-dropped by the reality of life on the U.S.-Mexico border, along with Lone Star (1996), a story about the border from a different angle, in which a sheriff must investigate a cadaver that shows up in a desert town populated by Mexican immigrants. Other films by Sayles that discuss U.S-Latin American relations are Casa de los Babies (2003) about South American adoptions and Men with Guns (1997) about a well-off doctor forced to confront socio-political reality and armed conflict.

FICCI will complete the retrospective with a few other classic Sayles*@@* films. Sunshine State (2002), City of Hope (1991), Silver City (2004) and Matewan (1987) about the harsh reality of capitalism: unequal and oppressive, where neither monetary nor human costs matter; corruption within North America*@@*s number one sport, baseball, in Eight Men Out (1988); and finally The Return of the Secaucus Seven (1980), Sayles*@@* directorial debut, about old dreams and university student*@@*s struggles.

Sayles will discuss his experiences on Tuesday, March 18th at 3:30pm as part of Salon FICCI. Here, the public will have a chance to get to know a man whose films have been such long-standing and solid examples of independent film that they deserve not only a single retrospective or award but the loudest of applause.

This program has been made possible thanks to the support of the Embassy of the United States in Colombia.