This film is about a young girl who enters FARC and her training to become a guerrilla soldier. It describes the transformation this young city-girl undertakes, when having to adapt to ... See full summary »
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This film is about a young girl who enters FARC and her training to become a guerrilla soldier. It describes the transformation this young city-girl undertakes, when having to adapt to strict military training and primitive conditions of life. Written by Zentropa Real

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12 November 2005 (Denmark)  »

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Becoming a Guerrilla Girl  »

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More Girl than Guerrilla
28 February 2006 | by (Columbia, Missouri USA) – See all my reviews

Young men and women the world over enter military service for a variety of reasons, from economic opportunity to patriotism to the simple desire to fight. The journey of young recruits from raw human material to part of an effective fighting force in nations like the Untied States has been covered ad nauseum, and such films have even been encouraged by the government (assuming they have final say).

But what if you wanted to follow the journey of say a young person joining up with the Maoist rebels in the mountains of Nepal or the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka? There we are talking about a much more arduous and less traveled road. This is exactly the sort of path Frank Piasechi Poulsen has taken in Guerrilla Girl. By some amazing combination of tenacity and luck, he has managed to get inside of rebel training camp in South America.

Isabel is an educated young woman from a family of means in Colombia who has decided to leave behind everything she knows and journey into the heavily forested mountains of her country to join the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Her commitment is a profound one, as membership in FARC is for life.

Such a documentary could easily become a polemic, but Poulsen has eschewed such an approach focusing instead on the very personal trials, thoughts, and beliefs of Isabel and those around her. This film is shot up-close and personal from a perspective that allows you to feel as though you were sitting in a jungle camp just across from this intriguing young woman. We see her in political education classes, practicing soldiering with a wooden rifle, and having a spat with another recruit over soap; all portrayed with a surprising intimacy.

Guerrilla Girl has some of the best cinematography I've seen in a documentary, made all the more incredible when one considers the setting it's achieved in.

If you're looking for an explanation of the decades-long conflict in Colombia, I can suggest many excellent books on the subject. Any film attempting to explain this struggle in ninety minutes would be doomed to failure, and not worth your time. But if you'd like a very human portrait of someone you're not likely to ever know otherwise, in a place you'll probably never be, then I highly recommend Guerrilla Girl.


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