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COLOMBIAN CINEMA

All these movies are Colombian and their original language is Spanish. Most of the trailers have English subtitles.

Source: chicagolatinofilmfestival.org and filmaffinity.com.co. Over the years, many international cinema, television and advertising productions have been filmed in Colombia. Do you have Netflix? Watch this interesting series NARCOS that records the power of Pablo Escobar of the Medellín Cartel (American production 2015).

Sadly, Colombian cinema is stigmatized by the drug cartel, prostitution and war themes. Here, we try to find a balance in our recommendations.

With your popcorn ready, dive in deep in this tropical culture! Enjoy cinema a la cartaACCIÓN!!

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EL ABRAZO DE LA SERPIENTE  (EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT)
The story of the relationship between Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman and last survivor of his people, and a scientist who work together over the course of the years to search the Amazon for a sacred healing plant. A marvellous adventure through the raw and sacred magic of the Amazon. Based on the book from Canadian anthropologist Wade Davis: One River (about the 12-year experience of the ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes in the Colombian jungles, rivers and tribes).
Year: 2015, Oscar-nominated
Type: Adventure, drama
Director: Ciro Guerra
Language: Spanish – German – English – Portuguese – Amazonian languages
Trailer

AMAZONA
After the tragic death of her eldest daughter, Val embarks on a trip to the Colombian jungle to refind herself, leaving behind her other children and her family. Clare, director of this documentary and daughter of Val, was 11 years old when this occurred. It has been a long time and Clare, pregnant, decides to confront her mother with the traces of that decision. What was Val looking for? Did she think about the consequences that separation would bring for others? The meeting of mother and daughter, not without tensions and reproaches, reveals two personalities who wonder about the meaning of being mothers, the responsibility and the desire for freedom, the sense or the trap that lies behind the idea of Motherhood as a sacrifice. A frank and illuminating portrait of a moment of two women, in which the whole previous journey of their lives takes on a new meaning. (FILMAFFINITY)
Year: 2016
Nationality: Colombia
Type: Documentary
Director: Clare Weiskopf
Trailer

BELLEZA CAPTIVA (Captive beauty)
Intertwining Colombia’s two most televised storylines – beauty pageants and crime – this documentary enchants you with the stories of four female inmates whose excitement over their participation in the prison pageant transforms our perception. Still, the joy and colour of the pageant cannot completely hide the dark paths of these prisoners, as we are tossed between criminal and potential pageant queen.
Year: 2011 (Chicago Latino Film Festival)
Type: Documentary
Director: Jared Goodman
Trailer with subtitles

LA CARA OCULTA (THE HIDDEN FACE)
A psychological thriller that shows and analyzes the lowest instincts, feelings of guilt, betrayal and fear to which love is capable of taking us. Adrián is the new director of the Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra. This along with his apparently ideal relationship with his girlfriend Belen (Clara Lago), puts him in a perfect moment both personally and professionally. But all this begins to twist when she disappears and Bethlehem begins to doubt her fidelity. Adrián sunk by guilt and sadness by abandonment goes one night to a bar to try to forget his sorrows; there he meets Fabiana, the waitress at the bar. From that night on, he will begin a relationship with the young waitress who, along with his passion for music, will help him to try to forget Bethlehem. But as the relationship progresses, Fabiana begins to ask questions about the mysterious disappearance of Bethlehem, and the investigation of a police officer, an old acquaintance of Fabiana, will further fuel the young woman’s doubts.
Year: 2011
Type: Thriller
Nationality: Colombia-Spain-USA
Director: Andrés Baiz
Trailer

CARMEN G
Her first night away from Colombia, Carmen learns that the streets of New York are not friendly when her newborn, Mateo, is kidnapped. Carmen never gives up hope that one day she will see her son again. She is pretty much forced into hard work and all the while faces cancer alone. But she finds renewed faith after learning that her physician, named Mateo, is an orphan.
Year: 2011
Nationality: Colombia, US
Type: Drama
Director: Hernán Herrera
Trailer

CAZANDO LUCIÉRNAGAS
Manrique is in charge of monitoring an abandoned salt mine in a remote corner of the Colombian Caribbean. In this work he has found the pretext to isolate himself from a world that does not interest him. However, the unusual appearance of a curious dog who likes fireflies in the dark and the unexpected arrival of Valeria, a thirteen-year-old daughter whose existence she did not know, will give this lonely man a chance to recover the happiness of living.
Year 2010
Nationality: Colombia
Genre: Drama
Director: Roberto Flores Prieto
Trailer

CHOCÓ
Chocó is a peasant woman, black, in the prime of her twenties, carrying on her back a family of two minor children and Everlides, her husband, a musician who only knows how to play marimba, drink biche and play dominoes. In the morning she is looking for gold in the San Juan river and in the evenings she washes clothes of other families to feed and educate their children. It is the birthday of little Candelaria, and for the first time Chocó promises her a cake, however, things get complicated when trying to fulfil this promise, unleashing unexpected consequences for Chocó and her whole family. The film helps to reflect on the problems of Afro-Colombian women and, in general, on life in one of the poorest regions of Colombia.
Year: 2012
Type: Drama

Nationality: Colombian
Director: Jhonny Hendrix
Year: 2012
Trailer

COLOMBIA,  MAGÍA SALVAJE (COLOMBIA, WILD MAGIC)
Awe-inspiring feature-length documentary celebrating Colombia’s undiscovered ecosystems and biodiversity (flora and fauna). The documentary will shed light on the country’s rich ecology, capturing the natural diversity of a vast, unexplored territory – due mostly to its continuous long internal war that still affects the country – whilst carrying a strong environmental message. In an unprecedented move, the film was shown at a very low price in Colombian theatres, with the objective of encouraging public interest in preserving and protecting the country’s natural beauty.
Year: 2015
Type: Documentary
Director: Mike Slee
On Netflix!
Trailer

LOS COLORES DE LA MONTAÑA
A modern-day portrayal of daily life in a remote part of the mountainous Colombian countryside, set around the friendship between Manuel and Julian, his best friend.
Year: 2010 (Festival Internacional de Cine de San Sebastian, Spain)
Nationality: Colombia, Panama
Type: Drama
Director: Carlos Cesar Arbelaez
Movie

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LA ESTRATEGIA DEL CARACOL – THE SNAIL STRATEGY
The residents of one of the poorest neighbourhoods of Bogota struggle to avoid the demolition of the house where they live, which is owned by an unscrupulous millionaire. Although their struggle against speculation and corruption seems lost in advance, they put into practice an original strategy devised by Don Jacinto, an old Spanish anarchist. (FILMAFFINITY)
Year: 1993
Genre: Comedy, drama
Director: Sergio Cabrera
Movie

GONAWINDÚA
It is the future, some years beyond 2.088. The consequences of our actions are evident in the landscape, even so, Cenkui makes the payment. Gonawindúa is an invitation through the images towards the care of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta as a natural and cosmogonic epicentre for indigenous cultures. A 20-Day shoot, after living with the community Kogui for about two months.
Year: 2011
Type: Documentary, 12min
Director: Giuliano Cavalli and Jorge Mario Suárez
Trailer

LOS HONGOS
Every night after work, Roberto paints graffiti on different walls of his neighbourhood east of Cali. During the day he is a construction worker and the son of Maria, a sweet mulatto who emigrated to the city from the Pacific jungle. Roberto has not returned to sleep and is beginning to daydream. Maria suffers because she thinks that someone has bewitched him and the boy will end up in madness. One day Roberto loses his job for stealing several jars of paint. His neighbours are tired of his images, think he is promoting bad manners and prejudice. He crosses the city in search of Eduardo, another young graffiti student of fine arts, who lives some difficult days. Young people will go aimlessly through the city, and as two fungi contaminate their environment, this time of immense freedom. (FILMAFFINITY).
Year: 2014
Type: Drama
Director: Oscar Ruiz Navia
Trailer

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JENDE RI PALENGE (GENTE DE PALENQUE – People of Palenque)
An interesting documentary about the unique Afro-Colombian music and people of Palenque, a village in the north of Colombia created in the 1600s when escaped slaves first settled in an area south of the Caribbean coastal city of Cartagena! San Basilio de Palenque is now recognised as the first ever maroon (escaped slave) settlement to gain independence in the Americas and is proclaimed as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Year: 2012
Type: Documentary
Director: Santiago Posada and Simon Mejia
Buy the dvd + remix cd online via the website (English subtitles: yes)
www.jenderipalenge.com
Interview Santiago Posada

KAREN LLORA EN UN BUS (KAREN CRIES IN THE BUS)
A predictable journey-of-discovery for a middle-class Bogota woman in her 30s, who experiences the tougher side of life after walking away from her loveless marriage, it might pad out less-discerning festivals or those highlighting feminist issues.
Year: 2011 Official selection – Berlin Film Festival and Cartagena Film Festival
Type: Drama
Director: Gabriel Rojas Vera 
Trailer


LA LUCIERNAGA (The Firefly)
Lucia’s brother Andrés, tragically dies in a traffic accident. In full mourning for her loss, Lucia  (played by Carolina Guerra) will meet her brother’s fiancee, Mariana (Olga Segura) and together they will try to overcome Andres’s death. They fall in love… Lucia has to decide if she returns to her husband, with whom she has been married for four years, or if she starts a new life with the woman who was going to marry her brother. The treatment of love without labels, when you least expect it and in its purest and most natural form are intermingled in La luciérnaga with the strong roots of the Catholic Church in Colombian society. (FILMAFFINITY).
Year: 2013
Type: Romantic
Nationality: Colombia
Director: Ana Maria Hermida
On Netflix!
Trailer

MNOP

MANOS SUCIAS (Dirty Hands) 
Desperate fisherman traffics drugs up Colombian coast
Year: 2015
Nationality: Colombia 
Type: Fiction
Director: Josef Kubota Wladyka
Language: Spanish
Via Netflix!
Trailer

MARIA LLENA DE GRACIA (Maria Full Of Grace)
Although the movie depicts rural life in Colombia, it was actually filmed in Ecuador. A pregnant Colombian teenager becomes a drug mule to make some desperately needed money for her family.
Year: 2004
Type: Drama
Director: Joshua Marston
Trailer

MI PALENQUE, ANA MERCEDES HOYOS
This documentary depicts the life of the famous Colombian painter, Ana Mercedes Hoyos. Ana speaks of her art, her life, and her inspirations.
Year: 2011
Type: Documentary
Director: Luis Alfredo Sánchez
Documentary

LOS NADIE
Love, hatred, broken promises and five street brothers who meet in the middle of a hostile city. Nobody, young people united by the desire to travel, find in street art and music the place to take shelter and an opportunity to escape. (FILMAFFINITY)
Year: 2016
Type: Drama
Director: Juan Sebastián Mesa
Trailer

PAJAROS DE VERANO (Birds of passage)
During the marijuana bonanza, a violent decade that saw the origins of drug trafficking in Colombia, Rapayet and his indigenous family get involved in a war to control the business that ends up destroying their lives and their culture.
Year: 2018
Type: Drama
Directors: Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra
Opened the festival of Cannes
Trailer

PEQUEÑAS VOCES (Little Voices)
A Colombian animated 3D documentary. Little Voices is a film that summarizes the stories of displaced children between 8 and 13 years, through drawings they tell their dreams and fears.
Year: 2012
Type: Documentary
Director: Jairo Carrillo y Oscar Andrade
Trailer

PERRO COME PERRO (Dog eats dog)
The revenge for the death of William Medina and the interest in recovering lost dollars are the initial pretext that unites the protagonists of this story. Victor Peñaranda (Marlon Moreno) and Eusebio Benitez (Oscar Borda) have to submit to the orders of El Orejón (Blas Jaramillo), a powerful businessman devoted to witchcraft, eager to avenge the death of his godson (William Medina) and obsessed with finding his money. (FILMAFFINITY)
Year: 2008
Type: Drama-Thriller
Director: Carlos Moreno
Trailer

PESCADOR (FISHERMAN)
When bricks of cocaine wash up on the shore, aimless fisherman Blanquito finds himself armed with an entirely different sort of bait. He uses the contraband as an excuse to leave the sleepy beach town for the city, where he hopes to change his life. Due to a beautiful yet anxious travelling companion, Blanquito is slowly realizing that his relocation guaranteed him nothing.
Year: 2011 (Official Selection Miami International Film Festival, Film Festival Mexico and  San Sebastian)
Type: Drama
Director: Sebastián Cordero
Trailer with subtitles

LA PLAYA D.C (The Beach)
In the district of La Playa, cross the path of Tomas, a young Afro-Colombian who had to leave and escape his village on the coast because of a drug war. In the traditional “white” city of Bogota, he gradually marginalizes but he finds his own way in the hairdressing world underground. When his younger brother Jairo disappears, he puts everything in to find the boy.
Year: 2012 (Selected for the Cannes Film Festival)
Nationality: Colombia, France, Brazil

Type: Drama
Director: Juan Andrés Arango
Movie
Nomination for best Latin American film of 2012! Article 26.11.12.

PORFIRIO
Frustrated with the legal red tape and apparent governmental negligence of his situation, Porfirio ultimately becomes an agent of his own life and makes one final life-changing decision that forces all to look up and listen.
Year: 2011
Type: Drama
Director: Alejandro Landes
Trailer


POSTALES COLOMBIANAS  (COLOMBIAN POSTCARDS)
Piedad, Caridad and Fanny meet one night to play catch-up. All three are freethinking, professional, middle-class. Little do they suspect that later they will meet three men who will turn their lives upside down and not in the nicest ways.
Year: 2011 (Chicago Latino Film Festival)
Type: Comedy
Director: Ricardo Coral
Trailer with subtitles

QRST

QUE VIVA LA MUSICA
Driven by the music and dance that she finds on the road, a teenager leaves home without caring about the consequences of what may happen. She is willing to try everything the city (Cali) has to offer, inspired by the cult novel of Andrés Caicedo. (FILMAFFINITY).
Year: 2015
Type: Drama / Music
Director: Carlos Moreno
Trailer

RETRATOS EN UN MAR DE MENTIRAS (Portraits In A Sea Of Lies) 
After the death of their grandfather, Jairo and his young cousin Marina decide to recover the land which was displaced years ago. They travel from Bogota to the Caribbean Coast in an old beat-up Renault 4.
Year: 2010 (Berlin Film Festival & Film Festival in Guadalajara Mexico)
Type: Drama
Director: Carlos Gaviria
Trailer

ROSARIO TIJERAS
Medellin, 80s. A love story between a beautiful and sensual hitwoman of the drug cartels, Rosario Tijeras, and two young people of high society. A story of passion and debauchery in a city ravaged by narco-terrorism. Rosario Tijeras is a woman for whom death is the culmination of pleasure and ecstasy. (FILMAFFINITY).
Year: 2005
Type: Drama / Thriller
Director: Emilio Maillé
Trailer

SIEMBRA
A man and his son move from the coast of Colombia to Cali, but they have difficulties adapting to the city. After the murder of his son, the father must go through the harsh process of grief while trying to find his way in a city of which he doesn’t take part. (FILMAFFINITY).
Year: 2015
Type: Drama
Director: Ángela Maria Osorio Rojas, Santiago Lozano Álvarez
Trailer

SILENCIO EN EL PARAISO (Silence in Paradise) 
Ronald has only two concerns in his life: his job as a bicycle-riding local advertiser, and Lady, the forlorn object of his affection. In an attempt to secure both of these, Ronald earnestly seeks other job opportunities, finally attaining promise of work outside his town, Paraiso. However, his departure, like that of many others, proves to be immensely ill-fated. Based on true events.
Year: 2011
Type: Drama
Director: Colbert Garcia
Movie

LA SIRGA (The Towrope) 
Alicia is distraught. She flees the gun violence that took away her loved ones and lands in La Sirga, the inn of Oscar, her only remaining relative. There, on the edge of a large lake in the Andes, she tries to get her life back on track. Until the conflict also penetrates into La Sirga, with the return of Oscar’s long-awaited son Freddy, whose intentions are far from clear. Since the middle of August 2012, Colombia is connected to her films! For the first time a Colombian film made its debut online instead of in the cinemas.
Year: 2012 (premiered in Cannes Film Festival 2012)

Type: Drama
Director: William Vega
Trailer

 

LA TIERRA Y LA SOMBRA
After having left a long time ago, a humble country sugar cane worker returns home to meet his grandson and deals with the hardships his family has been put into. First Colombian movie to win a Cannes award (best camera). Depicts the harsh conditions of the rural sugarcane farmers in the Cauca Valley – Colombia.
Year:  2015
Type: Drama
Director: César Augusto Acevedo
Nationality: Colombia
Trailer

TODOS TUS MUERTOS (All Your Dead Ones)
Salvador is a peasant who wants to work as usual on his land. Instead, he finds a pile of corpses in the middle of his crops. Upset, he runs to notify the authorities but it’s Sunday and Election Day. People don’t want to listen to him and when the authorities do, the dead ones end up being a nuisance that nobody wants to deal with.
Year: 2011 (Chicago Latino Film Festival)
Type: Drama
Director: Carlos Moreno

Trailer with subtitles

UVWXYZ

EL VIAJE DEL ACORDEÓN  (DIE REISE DES AKKORDEONS)
A film about the Colombian Vallenato virtuoso Manuel Vega – the uncrowned King of Vallenato.
Year: 2013
Nationality: Colombia 
Type: Documentary
Director: Rey Sagbini and Andrew Tucker
Trailer with German subtitles

LOS VIAJES DEL VIENTO (The Wind Journeys)
This is the story of a mysterious minstrel who has spent his whole life to bring his accordion songs throughout the region. Following the death of his wife, one day he decides to travel from the Magdalena to the Alta Guajira to deliver his accordion to an old master and keep it to play more. On the way he is joined by a young boy who dreams of becoming a musician and wants to follow in his footsteps. They begin to walk together in these regions of Colombia experiencing all sorts of adventures and encounters in search of his destiny.
Year: 2009 (Selected for Film Festival Cannes, Berlin, Rotterdam, Los Angeles)
Type: Drama / Music
Director: Ciro Guerra
Trailer


LA VIRGEN DE LOS SICARIOS
After an absence of thirty years, the writer Fernando Vallejo returns to Medellin, the city where he grew up. There is not much left of what he knew: his parents are dead, a part of the city has been destroyed, the cocaine mafia sows terror through gangs of assassins… In a boys’ brothel he finds Alexis, sixteen years. Alexis takes part of these murderers who kill for hire and who in turn are killed. In this city of horror, Fernando is doing everything possible to save him. (FILMAFFINITY).
Year: 1999
Type: Drama – Romance
Nationality: Colombia
Director: Barbet Schroeder
Trailer


EL VUELCO DEL CANGREJO
Daniel arrives at the Afro-Colombian community of La Barra, located on the Pacific coast, in search of a boat to leave the country. He intends to stay only a few days, but an unexpected lack of fish has forced fishermen to move far from the coast, which makes it difficult to search for Daniel. In addition, the peasants have problems. Brain, the leader of the community, tries to adjust to the arrival of modernity.
Year: 2009
Nationality: Colombia
Type: Ficción
Director: Oscar Ruiz Navia 
Trailer


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