Cinéma du Réel - International documentary film festival
Un asunto de tierras
D.R.

Un asunto de tierras

A Matter of Land

Patricia Ayala Ruiz

2014 / Chile, Colombia / 78 min

i Tuesday 24 March 18H45 Luminor
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Original Version Subtitled in French and English +DEBATE

i Wednesday 25 March 19H00 Forum des images 100
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Original Version Subtitled in French and English

i Friday 27 March 16H15 Petite salle
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Original Version Subtitled in French and English +DEBATE

From start to finish, Un asunto de tierras draws a horrendously perfect circle: the orb of a change that the Colombian Government enshrined in 2011 law without allowing its implementation. Patricia Ayala Ruiz could well have filmed the large-scale return of lands to Colombia’s victims of violence as four million rural smallholders were concerned. In this case, she would have accompanied the developments of this historic vote from afar. Instead, she sticks to the viewpoint of a few former inhabitants of Las Palmas—a village so abandoned that the administration no longer even names it. Alternating the speeches made to the Assembly and the uphill battle for anyone who tries to reclaim their home, the editing lays its finger on the grammar of denial: “I know… but even so” the government might say, at the same time scandalised by the mass expulsions yet quick to mount a barrage of red tape against the victims. But as the film advances, we meet an astonishing variety of small groups or individuals that lend their support, be they confessional or “leaders of the return movement” (we hear incidentally on the radio that 53 of them have been assassinated). We only have to witness the young couple that have come to fill in a form on behalf of 1,500 families, and who later describe their childhood traumas, to see the overpowering dignity shining through in this sombre Kafkaesque frame. (Charlotte Garson)