War and Peace at FICCI 57
Colombia is living an importante moment in its history, and the Cartagena de Indias International Film Festival (FICCI) is showing that moment through its Special Program, WAR AND PEACE. The Program, which features eight feature-length films and four short films that focus specifically on armed conflicts and reconciliation processes around the world, seeks to raise public awareness and foster a better understanding of war and peace.
During the constant conflicts experienced by humanity, image and sound have had the responsibility of recording and witnessing what has happened. They have denounced atrocities with the hopes that these things never happen again, and they have shown how war can affect people to their very core. Conversely, the negotiations that put an end to these wars, and everything that they risk, have not been documented as thoroughly.
The following feature-length documentaries will be presented as part of the Special Program: The End of ETA (El Fin de ETA – 2017), by Justin Webster, a Spanish production that documents the decade that ended with the ETA's decommissioning of arms; Long Night's Journey Into Day (2000) by Americans Deborah Hoffmann and Frances Reid, which tells four stories of the South African apartheid as seen through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; A Syrian Love Story (United Kingdom, France, Syria, 2015) by Sean McAllister, nominated for a BAFTA award, brings us a vision of the Arab Spring and the Syrian conflict through the eyes of a couple; in Nine Shots (Nueve Disparos - 2017), National Navy Sergeant Jorge Giraldo, after surviving an assassination attempt because of his work, creates a personal and familiar self-portrait of mothers and children affected by the realities of Colombia; Lessons for a War (Lecciones para una Guerra – Mexico, Guatemala, 2011), by Juan Manuel Sepúlveda, celebrates the resilience of indigenous peoples who have survived the genocide perpetrated by the Guatemalan government, and who are still facing and surviving new wars; and Depth Two (Serbia, Montenegro, 2016), a production that looks into the story behind the multiple mass graves discovered in the suburbs of Belgrade in 2001, during the Kosovo War.
The following feature-length fiction films will be shown during the program: Bloody Sunday (United Kingdom, Ireland, 2001) by Paul Greengrass, winner of the Golden Bear and the Ecumenical Jury Prize at the Berlin Festival in 2002, a documentary-like film about the Irish civil rights protest that ended in a bloody massacre on a Sunday in 1972; and Days of Santiago (Días de Santiago - Peru, Netherlands, 2004) by Josué Méndez, about the life of a soldier after the war that was fought between the State and guerrilla forces in Peru, which won the Critics' Award and the Award for Best Actor at the Lima Film Festival, among others.
The WAR AND PEACE Special Program will close with four Colombian short films that will show the public different perspectives on conflict and reconciliation. Impression of a War (La Impresión de una guerra – 2015) by Camilo Restrepo, winner of the Best Short Film award at FICCI 56, uses a multi-layered narrative to show the marks that violence has left on Colombia; in Guerra y Pa (2001), by artist Juan Manuel Echavarría, two trained parrots are used to lampoon the tragicomedy of Colombian politics after the failed peace talks from back then; Parábola del Retorno (2016) by Juan Soto follows the return of Colombian exile in London who is trying to find his family 30 years later; and Resistencia en Paz (2017) by Edison Sánchez, follows a survivor's reconstruction and reinterpretation of the tragedy of Bojayá.