Los colores de la montaña
Colombia/Panama, 2010, 88 min
An endearing, motley crew of young boys in the mountains of Colombia lives only for one passion: soccer. Their field of dreams is not quite level and has no markings, but means everything to them. Manuel gets a new soccer ball for his ninth birthday and is so excited that he sleeps with the ball in his arms at night. But early into this warmhearted story of innocent youth creep signs of uneasiness. Their schoolteacher disappears. Guerrilla slogans appear on the walls of the schoolhouse. Then the right-wing paramilitary militias pass through town. Ominous rumors spread that some boys in a neighboring village have been killed for sympathizing with the guerrillas. Even this dreadful news cannot dim the passion the boys have for fútbol. One day, their ball rolls from the soccer pitch into a field planted with land mines, and they are forbidden to retrieve it. The paramilitaries tighten their noose on the village, sending the adults into a downward spiral of helplessness and fear. Still, nothing can darken the boys’ dreams. As the village becomes the center of a tug-of-war between the paramilitary groups and the guerrillas, the idea of a rescue attempt for their precious ball is too tempting to resist. With a simple filmic language reminiscent of contemporary Iranian cinema, first-time director Carlos César Arbeláez tells a suspenseful political tale about people who are as apolitical as can be.
Special support for this program generously provided by Visionary Circle member Fred Phillips.