The much-celebrated peace agreement runs Colombia into chaos.
Ernesto is one of many leftist FARC guerrillas who want to fight for a better society, but this time by political means. As Ernesto dreams about toppling the current elite, both a passionate right-wing politician and a descendant of Spanish conquistadors want to rescue the country from the FARC terrorists. Meanwhile, the farmers cultivating coca could escape poverty, but only if the peace agreement is respected.
While Colombia faces a crucial opportunity for change, the characters balance at the edge of their morals. Many think the war is senseless but are willing to take justice into their own hands if necessary – even at the cost of peace. What happens to a very fragile peace in an unequal country if doing the ‘wrong’ thing may easily be justified as the only viable means of struggle?
“An impressive documentary film far from reportage style, a wide angled visual interpretation, a drama with strong characters. The filmmakers have succeeded in creating a drama as good as any fiction.”
'Colombia in My Arms' winner of the BEST NORDIC DOCUMENTARY 2020 at Göteborg Film Festival, Sweden.
The Jury’s motivation: "This award is given for the curiosity of the directors in observing vastly different opposing groups, resulting in a polyphonic portrait of a country in which peace doesn’t seem welcome. The precise use of photography and editing submerges us in the differing realities presented and creates a stark contrast between the political sensibilities at play in the natural and urban environments, and the associated poverty and luxury. This film goes beyond being an intimate portrait of a country, and makes us reflect upon colonialism and post-colonialism, capitalism and anti-capitalism, and what keeps us going as humanity."
We both had lived in Colombia and South America for years, but we never thought to make a film about the Colombian conflict. Initially, as foreigners, we both felt we didn’t have anything to say about such an extensive topic. However, by coincidence we were offered an opportunity to film in a guerrilla camp, which was suddenly possible due to the peace agreement.
The original idea was to make a poetic film about peace. But as the people we met began to face challenges, we felt important to start following the escalating situation. The muchcelebrated peace did not seem so obvious anymore. Soon we began to sense that we were in the middle of something big and that the reality at hand was more complex than we had understood.
As the opposing forces were clearly polarized, we felt it was essential to get close to them in order to understand the ongoing situation better. By lucky coincidences, we met not only Ernesto, but also a politician that strongly opposes the peace agreement and an aristocrat who takes us 500 years back to the times of the Spanish conquest - to the roots of the current circumstances.
Unexpectedly, we found ourselves close to people who opposed each other yet were very open to discuss difficult matters with foreign filmmakers – an audience seen as neutral and not part of the conflict. This was an opportunity to open windows for the audience to better understand the different realities that intertwine to give rise to this chaotic situation.
Although the film takes place in Colombia, it deals with universal topics about people balancing at the edge of their morals in an unequal context where money and power are at the root of everything. The film portrays individuals who wish the best for their country, but are able to justify war.
The characters’ dilemma can be seen connected to a greater story about colonialism and post-colonialism, capitalism and anti-capitalism, and sheds light on the ways our civilization is currently organized. Our aim with the film is to raise constructive discussion not to divide people, but to understand different realities and bring them closer to each other.
“Exceptionally ambitious documentary film that grows from one country’s situation into a universal observation.”
“Eloquent and sensitive. Dreamlike quality interrupted by occasional bursts of violence. Balanced glimpse into the consequences of Colombian’s much-heralded peace accord.”
January 2020 - Göteborg Film Festival - Sweden
Winner: DRAGON AWARD - BEST NORDIC DOCUMENTARY 2020
January 2020 - DocPoint Helsinki Documentary Film Festival - Finland
March 2020 - FIGRA Festival international du grand reportage d’actualité et du documentaire de société - France
Award: MENTION ESPECIALE
Award: PRIX AÏNA ROGER ESJ LILLE
May 2020 - 22nd Thessaloniki Documentary Festival - Greece
July 2020 - Festival Résistances - France
August 2020 - Doqumenta International Film Festival - Mexico
August 2020 - Sucre Festival de Cine Human Rights Film festival - Bolivia
Winner: INTERNATIONAL EYE - Features
August 2020 - Rasnov Film & Histories Film Festival - Romania
Award: SPECIAL MENTION
September 2020 - Nordisk Panorama - Sweden - New Nordic Voice Competition
Winner: NEW NORDIC VOICE - DOCUMENTARY 2020
October 2020 - Cinemaissí - Finland
October 2020 - 44ª Mostra Internacional de Cinema de São Paulo - Brazil - New Filmmakers Competition
October 2020 - 65 Semana Internacional de Cine de Valladolid - Spain - Competition
November 2020 - International Human Rights Film Festival - Colombia - Opening film
January 2020 - France2 / France
May 2020 - Yle / Finland
October 2020 - DIRECTV (201) / Multiple Latin American Countries
Soon: DR / Denmark, NRK / Norway
Written and directed by Jenni Kivistö & Jussi Rastas
Cinematography by Jussi Rastas
Edited by Jenni Kivistö & Jussi Rastas, Sully Reed, Antti Jääskeläinen
Music composed by Povl Kristian
Sound Design by Rasmus Winther Jensen
Produced by Filmimaa Ltd / Markku Tuurna
In Co-production with
Les Films d’un Jour / Sébastien Tézé
Hansen & Pedersen Film / Malene Flindt Pedersen
Medieoperatørene / Ingvil Giske
Produced with support from
Finnish Film Foundation / Pekka Uotila
AVEK / Outi Rousu
Danish Film Institute / Cecilia Lidin
Fritt Ord / Bente Roalsvik
Nordisk Film & TV Fond / Karolina Lidin
Produced in collaboration with
YLE / Erkko Lyytinen
France 2 Communication / Isabelle Delécluse
Production / Dominique Faure, Cristelle Poirson, Nelly Dutreuilh
Head of Documentary Unit / Catherine Alvaresse
DR / Anders Bruus
NRK / Fredrik Faerden
+358 50 5666 596
+ 44 (0) 20 8786 6059
Raina Film Festival Distribution / Andy Norton
+ 358 44 970 6841