Director Sergio Guataquira Sarmiento returns to Colombia to make a film about a wave of suicides in Native American communities. This is an opportunity for him to reconnect with his forgotten roots.
The risks of exile are well-known: when you leave your country, you condemn yourself to no longer belonging to your original culture or to your host country, to living eternally in between two worlds. Sergio Guataquira Sarmiento revisits this question by linking it to a static and inner exile: Colombia’s native peoples, like those in other South American countries, have not had to leave their country to experience the pain of exile, they simply had to find themselves encircled by a civilisation that has exploited their resources and created a different world around them. Sergio leaves Belgium, where he has lived for many years, and arrives in the jungle of Vaupés where he meets Laureano, a Spanish-speaking member of the Cacua tribe, who offers to welcome him in his village. A paradox: Sergio’s indigenous-sounding name led to his being bullied by his classmates, but here he is seen a White man.
Among these families and their self-sufficient lives, his presence is superfluous. The most he can do is bring his hosts a word absent from their vocabulary: “nostalgia”. This bitter-sweet feeling, which pervades Sergio’s self-deprecating words from the start, along with the delicately nuanced greys of the photography, finally takes hold of the entire film. But before returning to his eternal exile, Sergio has at least had the chance to exchange with Laureano as only real friends can do, watching the tree tops from a mountain until the contours of this age-old landscape are engulfed by the setting sun.
Sergio Guataquira Sarmiento was born in Bogota on April 5, 1987. Nothing predestined him for the cinema and yet, at the age of 19, he left his country for Europe and enrolled at the Fine Arts School in Poitiers with a student visa. It was during his studies that he got closer to cinema and successfully passed the entrance exam to the IAD film school in Belgium.
In 2018, his graduation film Simon cries was spotted on the festival circuit where it circulated extensively.
Between burlesque and sad clown, resignation and ferocity, Sergio Guataquira Sarmiento wants to highlight the feeling of sadness that is too often repressed by Latin American culture.
Sergio Guataquira Sarmiento currently lives in Brussels, awaiting regularization.
Fox the Fox (Micha Wald), Grand Angle Productions
Noé Bries Silva
CBA - Centre de l'audiovisuel à Bruxelles - firstname.lastname@example.org