Field of Amapolas
PRODS Maja Zimmerman, Juan Carlos Melo Guevara
SCR Juan Carlos Melo Guevara
CAM Iván Quiñones
ED Gabriel Baudet
PROD CO Chirimoya Films / Sangre Films
The narrative of Juan Carlos Melo Guevara’s gripping drama contains a richness of themes: the Colombian civil war pitting guerillas against paramilitaries; the innocent citizens caught in the middle with little chance of maintaining a neutral position; a moving father-son relationship; and, finally, the perspectives of two young children who turn to a puppy for comfort and respite. The apparently artless nature of the filmmaking and the matter-of-fact presentation of the lives of "ordinary" people serve to heighten the real horrors of the conflict and the impossible choices people have to make.
Emilio is a decent man trying to inculcate sound values in his son Simon. But, driven from his land and forced to take refuge with a cousin, he has no option but to work in the poppy fields. Much of the story is recounted from the point of view of Simon and Luisa, the girl he meets. Moments of humour are juxtaposed with moments of danger. One day, the boy follows his father to work and uncovers the true nature of his work. Events move inexorably as the boy himself is made to work in the heroin industry… Jardin de Amapolas is an intelligent exploration of a topic we know about, but which until now has rarely had such a human face. This is a fine piece of work from a country whose films we rarely see.