// Presented as part of Filmatique's In Transit Series //
Exclusive Essay: The Darkest Animal in Felipe Guerrero's Oscuro Animal
Spotlight on Oscuro Animal
Felipe Guerrero / 2016, Rotterdam, AFI, Camerimage, Cartagena, Guadalajara, Havana, Jerusalem, Lima, San Sebastián, Split, Tarkovsky Film Festival - Zerkalo / 147'
Three women inhabit war-torn regions of contemporary Colombia. Rocio returns from doing the laundry in a nearby stream to find her entire village destroyed, presumably by members of the revolutionary militia FARC. Mona lives reluctantly among the paramilitaries, forcibly impregnated by one of them and unable to escape until one night she stabs her keeper and flees into the jungle. Nelsa, a soldier herself, grows disillusioned by the surfeit of violence and seeks a better life in the city.
Inscribing the latest chapter of Colombia’s paramilitary history in the varying circumstances of three young women, Oscuro Animal elaborates the complexity of what remains among the world’s longest-standing conflicts. Felipe Guerrero’s debut feature premiered at Rotterdam, AFI, Camerimage, Jerusalem, and San Sebastián; Havana, where it won a Special Mention; Lima, where it won the International Jury Prize and Best Film; and Guadalajara, where it won Best Picture, Best Director & Best Cinematography.
"The immense silences of the largely wordless Oscuro Animal lend it a portentousness entirely in keeping with the seriousness of its subject, which is the effects of the violence on the bodies and minds of the victims of the armed conflict in Colombia… [The film] has cumulative power"
- Jonathan Holland, Cartagena Review, The Hollywood Reporter