“Pequeñas Voces” directed by Jairo Carillo and Oscar Andrade.
A creative and dedicated team of filmmakers and animation artists have made a splendid and poignant film on behalf of “the kids, and what they have to say”. The ‘kids’ are four Colombian children who each tell their own story with crayons and paper and voice-overs that take on the tones of delight, happiness, sadness, and the sunny pragmatism that only children can have about war, death, and stunning changes in their lives. Their voices bring to life the one-dimensional drawings that, at first, reflect the lively, colourful and innocent lives they once lived in the countryside.
FARC guerillas invade the lush, peaceful countryside.
The animation moves through four inter-woven stories that move from colourful farmhouses to muted shades of battlefields to accompany the painful reality of what has occurred in the lives of these four children, when FARC guerrillas and Colombian army troops invade the lush, peaceful countryside where they lived, grew coffee beans and corn, played with family, friends, beloved pets and animals that provided the family with food and income.
A thirteen year old is offered $25 to leave home and join the guerillas
One young boy age 13 is enamoured with the Guerrilla Commander who comes to his poor farmhouse where he lives with his mother, and kindly shows him glossy coloured pages with photos of a variety of guns, offers him $25 to leave home and join the Guerrillas.
The oldest ‘recruit’ in his group of ‘child soldiers’ is fifteen. He learns to shoot guns and marvels at his target accuracy. He is sent to the ‘front line’ during a fierce gunfight and empties two magazines of bullets, shooting into the air, being terrified that he will hurt or kill someone. This is not the glamorous life with guns he was ‘promised’. After three months, he is able to return to his mother, no longer an innocent child.
A clever young girl from a happy farming family tells of the jokes her father is always playing with her and her two sisters. One day a group of masked rebels with guns came to their farmhouse and take her father away. She runs to him to tell him not to leave. He picks her up and says “do not worry, I will be back”. In a matter-of-fact statement, she tells us that her father’s papers were found in a field three days later, but they do not know if he is alive or dead.
A 16-year-old boy sketches his vital story. He is playing football with his brother, outside their farmhouse when he was 10. A grenade is lobbed onto the field and explodes next to him. He loses his arm and leg. He nearly dies. When he returns to his home, he can only crawl, unable to stand. One day he is taken to a Foundation and receives a new arm and leg. He asks for “no pity” and blames no one. He now plays football as a goalie. There were too many painful accidents for his opponents when he played midfield, because of the hard, strong materials in his new leg.
The film takes you beyond the sketches of guns, helicopters, bloody bodies, dead animals, burned-out farmhouses that somehow become stories of hope, acceptance and a better future for the little voices that speak for themselves and on behalf of the hundreds of other children who have lived the same pain and sorrows of war in Colombia.
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- The Gucci Tribeca Film Fund, Tribeca Film Institute, USA.
- Jan Vrijman Fund, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, Netherlands.
- Göteborg International Film Fund, International Film Festival Göteborg, Sweden.
- Film Production, Film Development Fund-FDC, Colombia.
- Best Project Colombian Prize Competition Film Production Workshop MPA.
- Best Documentary, International Film Festival of Cartagena de Indias (FICCI), Colombia, 2011.
- Honorable Mention, XIII Film Festival on Human Rights in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2011.
- Directed by: Jairo Eduardo Carrillo, Oscar Andrade (co-director)
- Writing credits: Eduardo Carrillo
- Produced by: Oscar Andrade, Eduardo Carrillo, Julián Giraldo
- Film Editing by:Juan Felipe Orozco
- Art Direction by: Adela Manotas
- Sound Department: Richard Córdoba
- 3D Conversion: Brash 3D
Spanish Press Release [PDF]