The film follows Paula, a young art student, that witnesses the assassination of her father, a human rights advocate in Medellín. Pain-struck, she runs up against the ignorance and ineffectiveness of government agencies that show no interest in investigating the case. Paula and her family realize that they are just another number on a long list of Colombia’s conflict victims. Driven by anger, frustration and sorrow, she commits fearless acts that put her and her family at risk.
|Original Title||:||Matar a Jesús|
|Release Date||:||October 16, 2017|
|Production Countries||:||Argentina, Colombia|
|Director||:||Laura Mora Ortega|
|Writers||:||Laura Mora Ortega|
|Casts||:||Natasha Jaramillo, Giovanny Rodríguez|
|Plot Keywords||:||assassination, colombia, photography, murder, student, motorcycle|
The less you know the more you live, and the less you live the more you refuse to know. 22-year-old Paula is pulled in both directions when her father is gunned down before her eyes on the streets of Medellin. She gets a look at the killer, and the only reason she is still alive is because the killer did not notice her. The police tell her family to move and hide away, yet Paula refuses. Soon she stumbles into the killer, Jesus, at a nightclub. Paula lures him closer, feigning interest so she can trap and kill him. However, when Jesus reveals his soft side, Paula begins to lose her resolve. Jesus also attempts to get Paula to embrace her anger. "Without hatred," he tells her "nothing happens." Confused and doubtful, Paula may not be able to pull the trigger when she needs to.
Medellin aglow in Christmas lights, sparklers and neon at night, threading its streets on a motor cycle, scenic views from the surrounding mountains, the pulse of the nightclubs, swimming in a clear forest stream, and bicycles streaking down the steep slopes into the city; the cinematography is immersive and illuminating. Shot in natural light with frequent close-ups, the camera work reveals both the beauty and darkness of Medellin. The film is worth seeing for the amazing cinematography alone.
The film is dedicated to the director's father who was killed in front of her, as with Paula in the film. Unlike the film, Laura Mora did not actually meet the killer, but saw him in dream. The film explores what she might have done. The film's authenticity, a deep connection and sympathy to the characters, the actors and the city, really shines. The non-professional actors contribute as much to this as the director. Sure the acting is a little clunky at times, but authenticity is a better mark to aim for. Infused in the theme of the story is sympathy for all the victims of a corrupt and violent society. Take your broken heart and turn it into something beautiful, this is what the director has done. Seen at the Toronto International Film Festival. Four and a half of five stars.