Florida Film Festival
The Colors of the Mountain
Directed by: CARLOS CÉSAR ARBELÁEZ
COLOMBIA, 2010, 88 MIN
In Spanish with English subtitles
Although demonstrating the dangers of being caught between guerillas and the military in the Colombian mountainside, the film is hardly a political tract. Instead, the story is inventively filtered by the perspective of nine-year-old soccer-crazy Manuel, who doesn’t understand the conflict being played out and its violent costs. When his valued soccer ball ends up in a minefield, all he knows is he wants his ball back to play with his friends. Unspoken adult reactions, from his parents to his new teacher, provide a counterpoint to Manuel’s understanding and touch on the role of manhood, the meaning of land, and the value of education. Told with drama, humor, and suspense, this is a deceptively simple film, both moving and vivid with a strong sense of place and people. You care about what happens to the characters and ponder the future of these children. Director Arbelàez’s first feature, this stunning film won the New Director Award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival.