Directed by: Alejandro Landes
Starring: Sofia Buenaventura, Julian Giraldo, Karen Quintero, Laura Castrillón, Deibi Rueda, Paul Cubides, Julianne Nicholson
Inspired by the upheaval in his native Colombia, Alejandro Landes’s story of teenage guerrillas descending into anarchy is a hypnotic triumph.
We begin above the clouds, with Andean peaks dotting the distant horizon: a ragtag teenage cadet corps, half boys, half girls, have been blindfolded for training. They’re being shaped into an armed guerrilla squad. The children perform callisthenics, engage in ritualised capoeira fighting, and line up for inspection by a drill sergeant who otherwise leaves them strictly to their own devices – which is to say, encamped on this mystic mountaintop, with only a bemused dairy cow called Shakira to sustain them. They have a hostage in their charge, too – an American engineer they call “Doctora”, who has been abducted for reasons at which we can only guess. These are children, play-acting at war – but with the dangerous combination of hormones and actual weapons.
Introduced by Dr Anna Clayfield, a specialist in Latin American culture and history. She is also a lecturer in Spanish and Latin American studies at the University of Chester