We are terribly saddened by the passing this September of Luis Ospina, one of Latin America’s greatest cinema heroes. He leaves behind a career spanning six decades, more than thirty trailblazing films, and the inextinguishable fire of an unmatched faith in the seventh art.
His was a life devoted to the movies––first as a cinephile, then as a writer, director, editor, thinker, festival director, teacher, and as an actor. A founding member of the legendary Cali Group, a self-declared new generation of filmmakers that took cinema by storm in 60s Colombia, Ospina embodied the resistance to the official cinema he so stubbornly questioned.
MUBI is proud to present a triptych of his films, a small sample of his genius, that revolve around some of the recurring themes in his impressively rich body of work. Welcome to a cinema where lies are indiscernible from truths and where life and death coexist. Ospina’s is a cinema that exudes playfulness and celebrates self-reflexivity, one that defies conventions and puts the suspension of disbelief to test, a cinema eternally concerned with language and memory—all this while being gracefully punctuated by an exquisite sense of humor.
Luis Ospina and Carlos Mayolo’s Vampires of Poverty, which opens this series, is, at only 28 minutes, one of the most important Colombian films ever made, and a landmark of Latin American cinema that not only coined the term “pornomiseria” (poverty porn) but also posed questions that changed the course of documentary cinema forever. Presenting it in a new restoration, this is a rare chance to see this groundbreaking work in its full splendor.
We had the pleasure and honour of working closely with Ospina on this selection, and we can only thank him once again for his generosity and for his paramount legacy that will keep inspiring and enlightening generations to come.