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Federico Atehortúa Arteaga
Colombia, 2019
Production : Invasión Cine Invasión Cine

English, French


At the beginning of the last century, four men were executed for attempting to assassinate the Colombian President, Rafael Reyes. This event will be the subject of a re-enactment initiating the long history of manipulated images in relation to violence in Colombia. At the same time, following his mother's sudden silence, the director delves into the family archives and discovers a play in which he acts, as a child, the role of a fake guerrilla. This first-person documentary explores, in detail, the images that have shaped the country's imagination, their use in the armed conflict and the "false positives".

Cinelatino 2020 Competition

Tënk's film review

In this first feature film, Federico Atehortúa introduces the images that have linked the destinies of cinema and the history of Colombia. The question of the image and in the broader sense of the archive is at the center of this investigation. How, in the horror of war, could the thirst for images lead to the scandal of "false positives", sordid stagings intended to illustrate military victories? Using the history of what could be considered the country's first propaganda film, he manages to question our way of perceiving the Colombian armed conflict and to show how ones perception can be manipulated. It is also a fascinating work of introspection that analyzes the way in which archives and the media participate in the director's vision of his own country and succeeds in drawing parallels with personal history and the exploration of family archives illustrating the influence of images on individuals, at the most intimate level.

Katherine Salamanca
Documentary Film Programmer Cinélatino, Rencontres de Toulouse

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Federico Atehortúa Arteaga

Federico Atehortúa Arteaga (1990, Medellín, Colombia) studied cinema at the University of Cinema of Buenos Aires. After two short films, "Espeso humo blanco" and "Susurros", "Pirotecnia" is his first feature film.

Other films in the collection: Cinélatino 2020