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FARC Guerillas Non-Fiction?

The FARC guerrillas, the leftist-terrorist group that has been the nightmare of Colombians for the past decades, just released in Argentina their documentary, the FARC documentary.  The whole “non-fiction” movie is about to be released in Sweden (Stockholm) soon. As a Colombian and a filmmaker I feel the necessity to translate this insulting video that pretends to represent the romantic revolutionary army that the FARC may once have been.

This seven minute trailer is far from the reality that Colombians have long experienced from  the FARC. Briefly, they are considered a narco-terrorist group that kidnaps civilians, bombs cities, recruit children for combat, finances itself with drugs, and is fighting a war that lost its ideological roots a long time ago. With this “non-fiction” film, a legitimate piece of propaganda, the FARC are trying to restore their picturesque representation of a leftist revolutionary army.

Propaganda films, as the Nazis did with Leni Riefenstahl‘s Triumph of the Will, is a way to convince the masses of something that is misleading. In their documentary, the FARC portray themselves as a romantic “hunter-gatherer” fighting army, when in practice they resemble more professional terrorists that lost their leader and are afraid of verbal confrontation. Somehow, this self-reflexive documentary is trying to rescue the revolutionary nostalgia that once invaded South America and that got lost with time and, in Colombia, the drug business revenues.

FARC's image to Colombians.

The picturesque relates to the stereotypical and idealized image that one could have of something or somebody. A common example is believing that indigenous communities still roam almost naked and hunt with bows and arrows; taking the example a step further is assuming that every Colombian is a drug dealer. The international community, neighbors and Europeans, have been romanticizing a picturesque FARC for what this group claims to be their ideals, and also as the result of a “good” media strategy.

It is important that documents like these “non-fiction” film are not interpreted as truths. The political agenda is clear and the contradictions abound. The picturesque FARC are extinct and the release of a propaganda film is a deliberate way of acknowledging this. A closer representation of what the FARC really are is clearly portrayed through the on-axis shot of the woman ready to kill the audience! That is who they are.

Click here to join the Global Disavowal of FARC’s documentary.

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Categories: POV
  1. January 30, 2010 at 6:52 AM

    As much as I like to believe these people are actually selling drugs, in the Philippines the government accuses the NPA as selling drugs. They don’t. They don’t burn schools bridges or target those who speak against them. Yet a lot of people don’t know that.

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