2 February 2024

Eliu (Jhojan Estiven Jimenez) and El Mono (Maicol Andres Jimenez) in

THE OPINION OF THE “WORLD” – TO SEE

A week after A Varonby Colombian Fabian Hernandez – the story of a teenager caught in the spiral of misery and violence in the streets of Bogota – it is the turn of Eden, by Andres Ramirez Pulido, to take the stage. This proximity between the two titles, in a context where the distribution of non-American cinema in France is less flourishing than before, signals a Latin American cinematography which regularly stands out with remarkable works, notably relayed in Paris by an active festival , the Panorama of Colombian cinema, created in 2013.

Works distributed in theaters, such as La Barra (2009), by Oscar Ruiz Navia, The Red Light Society (2010), by Ruben Mendoza, Sirga (2012), by William Vega, Earth and Shadow (2015), by César Acevedo, aroused the constant interest of film buffs.

Antinaturalist and dreamlike

Like the society that produces them – convulsed by civil war, drug trafficking and poverty – these films are shaped by toxic violence. This is still the case with Edenwhich immerses us in a sort of penal colony for juvenile delinquents, installed in the middle of the Colombian jungle, where two methods, one purely repressive, the other experimental and gentle, are embodied by the ferocious head guard and by an enlightened therapist .

Eliu and El Mono, two teenagers under substance, who, wanting to assassinate the father of the first, have slain a complete stranger, find themselves there in the torpor of the tropical jungle, subjected to a program inspired by transcendental meditation. The first tries to mend his ways, the second to get away.

Anti-naturalist, dreamlike, developing a low-intensity plot, this film takes us away from the ultra-violence of the streets of Bogota, such as A Varon, for example, represents it. The thick jungle, the meditation, the reconstitution of the crime which unravels nothing of an act committed in an alcoholic delirium and of which only the stuporous whiteness of consciousness remains, the family of the victim who seeks revenge in a sort of the curse of the circle of violence, the deaf hatred that makes sons rise up against violent and resigning fathers, the blinding search for expiation: these are all motives that unfold more in the memory of La Libertad (2001), by Argentinian Lisandro Alonso, or Serpent’s Embrace, by Ciro Guerra. Call it magical realism.

Colombian film by Andres Ramirez Pulido. With Jhojan Estiven Jimenez, Maicol Andres Jimenez, Wismer Vasquez, Jhoanni Barreto (1 h 26).

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