Monday, 11 May 2015

Inside Colombian Films

By Laura Marcela Santiago (undergraduate FIGRI student)

When you hear about Colombian movies, there are two types of films that come to mind. The first one and not my favorite, is the type of movies that involve drugs and terrorism, for example the movie: "MarĂ­a llena eres de gracia", and the second one is the type of movies that satirize Colombian people. The second type of movies usually show the traditional customs of a typical Colombian family, but maybe their mistake is that they display the culture in a way that isn’t well appreciated, like in the movie: "Mi gente linda, Mi gente bella".

In the end, these Colombian films try to represent Colombian lifestyles, but with a huge lack of meaningfulness in their stories, and this does not make them interesting to watch. Why is the industry making these movies? My hypothesis is that they are afraid to show Colombians as normal people, who go through many troubles in life; people who have to deal with delinquency but that can also have good values, morals and ethics. 

When you go to theaters in the main cities of this country, each year they present a typical film that most of the time is about laughing at how Colombians live. We can find many examples like "In Fraganti" or "El Carro", where they stereotype a family from this country as people of low education, but having high incomes, and make reference to Colombians as easily impressed by luxury. 

Furthermore, the way they show these families is highly wrong, and it is very rude, because it gives the wrong idea to the international audience of how we are. Additionally, the industry continues to make these movies, despite the fact that they have not been successful in theaters.
Colombians do not want to be mocked on at the cinema; instead, we would like to watch stories about how we fall in love, why we are recognized for being very good friends, passionate and kind people.

It would be nice to have a movie at theaters with well-recognized actors and a huge budget that shows why Colombians are considered to be people who have a great commitment to society, and have a great sense of patriotism for their country. Just like that, it would demonstrate to the world our essence as Colombians.

It is interesting how the cinema industry has made very good films that have been best sellers, with beautiful landscapes and excellent actors from Colombia. Nevertheless, these ones have not been written by Colombians, but by foreign writers. As an example of these movies, we can find "La Cara Oculta" or "Gallows Hills", which are thrillers and drama films that truly represent families in everyday situations. However, this is an ironic topic of discussion, because foreigners are indicating that they can write better stories about Colombian culture than Colombian screenwriters.

These examples leave us with the reflection of how anxious we are to show the world that we have issues with delinquency but that we also have good stories about challenges, love and drama, like any other country around the world. It’s important that people around the world start to consider our country as one with great potential. One way we could demonstrate this is by making movies with purposeful and relevant stories that are not about drug dealers, trafficking, etc. 

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