Archive of films Oscuro Animal / Oscuro Animal
Colombia / Argentina / Netherlands / Germany / Greece
2016, 107 min
Section: Another View
In the depths of the Colombian jungle, a region governed by cold-blooded paramilitary units, three women have been subjected to physical and psychological abuse which has deprived them of their human dignity. One day, however, they decide to destroy the dark animal devouring them from within and set out on a symbolic journey from the darkness into the light. On the surface a tranquil film, but underneath a harrowing viewing experience resonating in an entirely different key.
A brutal commander’s whore, a villager on the run from bloodthirsty soldiers, and a guerrilla fighter who has decided to turn her back on her cell: Three women make their escape in order to shake off the traumas inflicted upon them by paramilitary units who control the darkest reaches of the Colombian rainforest. The animal fear they experienced in the jungle, where physical and psychological abuse was a daily ordeal, has deprived them of their human dignity. Perhaps this is also the reason for their symbolic journey from the darkness into the light, during which their bodies continue to judder in isolation and absolute secrecy from the long-term injustice committed against them. Will they be able to suppress their terror from the suffering they have endured and destroy the dark animal that is devouring them from within? One of the most remarkable pictures to come out of Latin America this year offers a consistent, stylistic code founded on long shots and an absence of dialogue. On the surface a tranquil work, but underneath a harrowing film, its internal rhythm generating a viewing experience that resonates in an entirely different key.
About the director
Felipe Guerrero (b. 1975, Colombia) studied film and photographic technology at the Unitec film school in Bogotá, film editing at Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome, and he also attended the Berlinale Talent Campus. He made the short features Medellín (1999), Duende (2002) and Nelsa (2014). His poetic, medium-length documentary Paraíso (2006), awarded at Marseille, portrayed the dismal reality of life in his native country. This was followed by the feature-length documentary Corta (2012), a hypnotic study of the work of farmers growing sugar cane in south-western Colombia. The film’s contemplative rhythm and visual style prefigured the directorial scope of Guerrero’s feature film debut Oscuro Animal – thanks to its premiere at the Rotterdam IFF and a number of subsequent screenings, to date the most successful Colombian film of 2016.
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About the film
|Dir. of Photography:||Fernando Lockett|
|Editor:||Eliane D. Katz|
|Art Director:||Marcela Gomez|
|Producer:||Gema Juárez Allen, Felipe Guerrero|
|Production:||Mutikono, Gema Films|
|Coproduction:||Viking Film, Sutor Kolonko, Boo Productions|
|Cast:||Marleyda Soto, Luisa Vides Galiano, Jocelyn Meneses|