(3.5 stars) A short and somber look at the war in Columbia. Raw and artistic, the director focuses his documentary on the images of war and how they are captured. Blurry, misprinted, alternately filmed, there is much to notice in these images that are slightly altered from the crystal clear ones we are used to. Restrepo finds meaning, or at least intrigue, in these off-kilter impressionistic visions of war.
Interesting visual style and editing, accompanied by punk music that fits the atmosphere of chaos and conflict. The document presents different layers and angles, from an individual to nation-wide scale. With that said, I felt like watching absolutely random people, fragments of articles and photos, footage from the jungle - yes we get the idea of widespread violence and crime, but it seemed vague and distant...
Images matter, as does how they're constructed/dispersed. This short seems to me to be about the collective responsibility contained within certain images, whether shared on flesh or concrete. It at least suggests that the clarity of image does not make its content objectively truer. We inherit history from image/flesh, and can hopefully decipher the noise. 3.5
3.5 stars. I wonder if the maneki-neko was a small respectful nod to Chris Marker. I appreciated the political engagement with colours and that such a formalist piece of essay work never lost sight of the human individual. Educational while neither hectoring or patronising. The punk music felt like a diversion chosen due to personal affection. But it would have been wrong not to include angry neccessary pleasures.
The confusing editing and the random particulars thrown into the pot with seemingly reckless attention do very little to honour the armed conflict Restrepo puts at the heart of the film. Impression is a fairly experimental affair, one that we should conclude did not achieve satisfactory returns.
Pablo Escobar, FARC, Paramilitares, internal conflict, news papers that do not inform, TV programmes that feed the people with rubish and futile content, invisible lines between towns, and many more elements are brilliantly explained in this documentary. It is sad how this has impacted on people behaviour and its culture.
The war and its signs, its stigmas which you can see everywhere : in the colour of a newspaper, the tatoos, the taxis, streetsignals etc... Restrepo documents those signs carefully and with them the story they tell. The story of Medellin and its most violent years. Original way to report and to approach storytelling that won him a deserved prize in Locarno.
I love how Camilo Restrepo makes the mixed media and very lowres videos work - not everyone can do that. Very engaging and actually informative. The tendency for shorts is to go vague and too abstract that one would be left feeling lost but Restrepo manages to both experiment and inform.