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Cast

Credited cast:
Davidson Ospina ...
Carlitos Medellín
Alejandro Monsalve Sánchez ...
Narrator / Carlitos (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Maria Auxiliadora
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Documentary

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Release Date:

27 October 2004 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Carlitos z Medellin  »

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2.35 : 1
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Survival, responsibility and hope

This is an impressive film, almost a record of dead persons who most probably gave a single testimony to the world of their predicament, as they sat in front of Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire's camera: they describe what it means to live in a poor section in Medellín, in a permanent state of violence that has increased in the last 50 years. Then we are informed that many of them were killed. When the film started I felt a sudden rejection when I heard the voice of a fictional kid called "Carlitos Medellín" reading a letter to the Catholic virgin Mary Help of the of Christians (María Auxiliadora in Spanish) asking for her intervention or from anybody in heaven in his community, while I watched on the screen the actions of Davidson Ospina, a kid who carries a statue of that virgin all around the neighborhood of Santo Domingo Savio. Then I realized that this was Sauvaire's strategy to unify all the testimonies that he registered. "Carlitos Medellín" is a fictional character, a symbol that gives unity to all the footage. Of course, this is almost a "talking heads" kind of business, but besides the reading of the letter, and the mothers telling the stories of their lost sons and asking the virgin for peace, Sauvaire added "Carlitos" smoking marijuana or playing football, a surprisingly mature young boy talking about survival and guns, a mother who has become a prostitute, the local morgue, a procession of Santo Doming Savio with chants and incense, a schoolgirl with no perspectives, a woman whose youth has become damaged by the signs of death, the photographs in the cemetery… I am almost sure you have not seen another documentary like this. Don't expect an explanation of what happens in Colombia. This is a film about survival, responsibility and hope. There are moments when it seems exhausting, but an understanding trio of editors (including the director) kept it at 73 minutes.


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