“When writing film criticism was not enough, Mayolo and I chose to put it into practice in films themselves. This is why we made Agarrando pueblo, as a response to the proliferation of poverty-porn in our field and in the Third World. It was like a gob of spit in the soup of Third World film, and it earned us a great deal of criticism and ostracism in European and Latin American festivals, used as they are to swallow tinned poverty so that their bad conscience is at rest.” (Luis Ospina) Agarrando pueblo (a Colombian idiom meaning “to fool people”) recreates the story of a couple of film directors desperately looking for poverty in the streets of Cali and even manipulating reality when they fail to find what they are looking for. Film in film, denunciation of vampirism at its purest, this film presents reality in the guise of fiction and, in doing so, makes a categorical statement on the opportunistic discourse of Latin American documentary (and documentaries on Latin America) in the 1970s.
Luis Ospina. Born in Cali in 1949, Ospina studied at the School of Cinematic Arts of the University of Southern California (USC) and at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He is co-director of the Cali Film Club and co-founder of film magazine Ojo al cine. His feature films include Pura sangre (1982) and Soplo de vida (1999). In addition, he has made a dozen short films and over 30 documentaries, including Andrés Caicedo: unos pocos buenos amigos (1986), La desazón suprema: retrato incesante de Fernando Vallejo (2003), and Un tigre de papel (2007). His films have been granted international awards in Oberhausen, Biarritz, La Habana, Sitges, Bilbao, Huesca, Cádiz, Lille, Lima, Caracas, and Toulouse. Ospina has also been awarded the “Manuel Murillo Toro” Medal for Merit in Communications (1986), the Medal for Cultural Merit in Film at the Cali International Art Festival (2001), and a Recognition to Artistic Creation and Cultural Management from the Colombian Ministry of Culture (2002). His film writings are collected in Palabras al viento. Mis sobras completas (2007). At present, Ospina is the Artistic Director of the Cali International Film Festival.
Carlos Mayolo. A filmmaker, scriptwriter, photographer, TV series director and actor, Carlos Mayolo was one of the greatest figures behind the new wave of Colombian film. During the Colombian Film Week in 2006, he received the National Award for his life in film, “his work of more than two decades, his talent, innovation and versatility.” In the 1970s, he joined Luis Ospina and Andrés Caicedo as a member of the Group of Cali, who founded the Cali Film Club and the magazine Ojo al cine. His films include La hamaca, Agarrando pueblo, La mansión de Araucaima, Carne de tu carne, and the TV series Azúcar, with which we won 17 Simón Bolívar Awards. He died of a heart attack in Bogotá in 2007.