THE COLORS OF THE MOUNTAIN
Young Manuel lives with his hard-working farmer parents in the remote, mountainous region of the Colombian countryside. While the adults in their lives try to avoid both the armed military and the guerrilla rebels fighting each other in the area, Manuel and his friend Julián are obsessed with playing soccer any chance they get. Shortly after his birthday, the new ball Manuel received as a gift gets kicked off to a minefield, and he, Julián and their albino friend Poca Luz will do everything in their power to recover their prized belongingâ€”an essential part of their everyday lives and dreams.
Bryan Pfleeger - Customer Review
Director Carlos Cesar Arbelaez won the Best New Director Award at the San Sebastian Film Festival for his Los Colores de la Montaña (The Colors of the Mountain) his debut feature. The film deals with the issue of sociopolitical conflict in a remote mountain region of Columbia as seen through the eyes of a child. While looking at war through a child's eyes is not new in cinema Abelaez concentrates on the small issues of life and leaves most of the violence off screen. Manuel (Hernan Mauricio Ocampo) has just been given a new soccer ball for his ninth birthday. He and his friends kick the ball onto the local soccer field which has been newly mined by the paramilitary forces who are occupying his region of the country. The remainder of the film sees Manuel and his friends Julian( Nolberto Sanchez) and Paco Luz trying to get the ball back. As this is happening the adults in the village are trying to carry on their lives while caught between the military forces and the guerilla bands that are slowly moving in. According to Arbelaez the ball is a metaphor for the ridiculous nature of the life the villagers are living. Shot almost entirely from the children's perspective, Arbeláez tackles universal themes of conflict and its impact on ordinary people without getting mired in specific politics. He deftly shows how quickly normality can disintegrate when conflict appears on the horizon. And despite having serious subject matter, he has a lightness of touch, an avoidance of outright displays of violence and an eye for the comedic that means older children could enjoy this as much as adults. Arbeláez was a deserving winner of the New Director's award at the San Sebastian Film Festival last year and this sweetly powerful debut suggests he's a name to look out for in future. Film Movement has done a great job with this film and the presentation is as vibrant as anything I've seen in the recent crop of major studio releases. The photography by Oscar Jimenez brings out all the colors and natural beauty of the mountanous region of Columbia and a times is quite stunning. I have been told that this film will be released in the United States later this summer and the chance to see it before the official release was a welcome one. This is a film with great promise and is definately worth seeking out.
Jeff in Seattle - Customer Review
Very good film of a guerilla war through the eyes of children. Of course, they'd rather play soccer. Reminds me of "Innocent Voices".