OUR VOICE OF EARTH, MEMORY AND FUTURE
Director: Jorge Silva, Marta Rodríguez Run Time: 110 min. Release Year: 1982 Language: Spanish
Starring: Diego Vélez, Eulogio Gurrute, Julián Avirama
The dominant subject of the films of Marta Rodríguez and Jorge Silva is the centuries-long oppression of farmers and indigenous peoples in Colombia, and their equally long resistance. While the early films analysed these conditions using a vocabulary informed by Marxism, indigenous cosmogony became more and more influential in their later work. The result of this clarification process – unthinkable without the critical participation of the indigenous farmers of Coconuco – is Nuestra voz de tierra, memoria y futuro, whose images no longer function as argumentative proof for eyewitness accounts, but rather form a tightly woven system of signs: furrows in the landscape, the backs of animals, the gestures of monuments, the myths and masks of the people and the breath that brings musical instruments to life. “Our cinema must also be beautiful, as beautiful as possible,” noted Jorge Silva of Nuestra voz de tierra when it first screened at the Forum in 1982. This digital restoration honours an important work of Latin American political cinema, one that doesn’t posit indigenous culture in romantic contrast to modernity, but rather recognizes in it an aesthetic of resistance. (Tobias Hering)
Marta Rodríguez was born in Bogotá, Colombia in 1933. She studied sociology in Barcelona and at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá, where her professors included the Colombian socialist and Roman Catholic priest Camilo Torres. In 1961, she moved to Paris to study anthropology, ethnology and film. There, she got to know the French documentary filmmaker Jean Rouch. In 1965, she returned to Bogotá and continued her anthropology studies. She also founded the student film club Ocho y Medio and met her eventual husband, the photographer and cameraman Jorge Silva. Together, they worked on Chircales (1971), their first of many joint film projects. Rodríguez still works as a documentary filmmaker. She completed her latest film, La Sinfónica de los Andes, together with her son Lucas Silva.
Jorge Silva was born in Girardot, Colombia in 1941 and grew up in Bogotá. He studied literature and visual arts, and worked as a photographer and journalist. In the early 1960s, he became involved in the student film club movement and made his first film, Días de Papel. He and Marta Rodríguez met in 1965 and later married, and together they made their first joint film, Chircales (1971). In addition to their close collaboration in the following decades, he also worked as a DP on other projects. Jorge Silva died in 1987.