Film festival showcases second movie: “Birds of Passage” and its Colombian connection

The third annual Latin American Film Festival hosted by the department of languages and intercultural studies featured their second film of the monthlong event, “Birds of Passage.”

The event concluded with a live Q&A discussion with the director Ciro Guerra.

The award-winning 2018 crime and drama movie, Birds of Passage, was filmed in The Guajira Desert in Colombia. The dialogue consisted mainly of The Wayuu language, as well as Spanish and English.

The movie displayed the dawn of the drug trade in Colombia through the eye of indigenous families’ point of view. This prospering business was cultivated on the lands of Colombia and began commerce with Americans and resulted in riches. The trade came with greed and revenge.

The rivalry between the indigenous and modern families caused adversity. This forced the difficult decision to choose friendship or family, each of which came with a cost. Overall, it was a betrayal of family traditions and resulted in tragedy.

“We made the film with local actors and with local groups,” Guerra said. “Many people in many places around the world as we shown the film have related to the film in ways that are unexpected.”

The movie presented history as a representation for indigenous people. The Wayuu people, a local indigenous tribe, made up the majority of the actors. They showed aspects of their beliefs and traditions through music, dance and symbolism.

“This film gives a completely different point of view of the drug trade and is from the point of view of the people who are really suffering from it,” Anna Oldfield, associate professor and chair of languages and intercultural studies, said.

McKenna Smith, a sophomore, said she came to watch the movie for a Spanish class. She said she enjoyed the film and plans on coming to the next one because this one was “really interesting.”

All films for the Latin American Film Festival are located at The Coastal Theater in Lib Jackson Student Union on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. until Oct. 26.