On 6 March 1906, four men were executed for the attempted murder of Colombian president Rafael Reyes. The event was photographed, and the photos were later used for a fictionalised film on the failed coup. From then on, cinema in this South American country has been inextricably linked to its violent history. Moving images have been used for historiography, propaganda, disinformation and to instil unity in a nation that refuses to come together. Falsos positivos, murdered youths disguised as guerrillas by the army to simulate military success, are a common element.
Federico Atehortúa Arteaga starts his film essay as an investigation into Colombia’s visual history, but gets side-tracked when his mother suddenly stops talking. His attention shifts to his own past, in which TV coverage of the civil war and home movies in which he dressed as a guerrilla play a role. Film reveals itself to be a powerful, yet not always unequivocal means of shaping memories.