A slow-burning and beautiful drama set in a remote mountain region of Colombia, Carlos Tribiño’s ambitious debut is an impressive meditation on the effects of the violence on the country’s recent past.
The film intertwines two stories, one set ever so slightly ahead of the other. The first belongs to 12-year-old Anselmo who lives with his mother and grandfather, his father having been killed. Asked by his mother to deliver a package, Anselmo pauses to swim in the wide, fast-flowing river and finds himself almost bumping against a floating corpse. Piqued by a curiosity presumably driven by his father’s unexplained disappearance, Anselmo decides to follow the corpse downriver in the hope of finding some answers. Movingly, he adopts and protects the corpse, as though it were indeed his father.
The second story deals with Epifanio, a farmer struggling to carry on his normal life though the odds are heavily stacked against him. His farm is cut off from the world, and his neighbours have abandoned the area with the imminent threat of paramilitary groups.