Of all the hellholes in the world, El Cartucho, in the Colombian capital Bogotá, was perhaps the worst. In the 1980s, the colonial neighbourhood of solid middle-class houses degenerated into the fiefdom of a drugs gang. The streets became the backdrop to a flourishing trade in drugs, people and garbage, crack houses sprang up all over and life wasn’t worth a damn.

This sensitive urban portrait paints a gripping picture of El Cartucho, as well as the DNA of a problem. In 2000, the neighbourhood was bulldozed to make way for Tercer Milenio Park – an expanse of concrete – in an attempt to eradicate history in one fell swoop. But guess what: it didn’t work. Director Andrés Chavez, who trained as an urbanist, switches between archive footage from the 1980s and 1990s, images as rough as the streets were back then – and the clinical present. It seems the tens of thousands who died in El Cartucho are not silent in their graves. 

 

Filmmaker
Andrés Chaves
Country
Colombia
Year
2017
Medium
DCP
Length
55’
Language
Spanish
Producer
Adriana Agudelo, Andrés Chaves
Sales
Costadocs
Writer
Andrés Chaves
Cinematography
Daniel Sandoval Galán, Martín Mejía Rugeles
Editor
Felipe Guerrero
Sound Design
Roberta Ainstein
Cast
voice of Alexander Sierra, voice of Blanca Lilia Pedraza, voice of Diego Moreno, voice of Gloria Vargas, voice of Jorge Enrique Ballen, voice of José Albeiro Zapata, voice of José Eduardo Arenas
Website
http://www.vanmaeles.com