Having fallen in love with the island of San Andrés, I long to return to the Colombian Caribbean to see other islands such as Providencia. But first, I hope to see this compelling film, Keyla, when it makes another New York screening [I missed the 5th Colombian Film Festival New York (March 24-26)]. Here is a post by Peter Jordens:

As mentioned in this previous post, the movie Keyla from the island of Providencia has opened in Colombian theaters nationwide since May 11, 2017 and is now in its third week. Screenings have taken place in Cali, Cartagena, Barranquilla, Manizales, Pereira and San Andrés, and continue in Bogotá and Medellín. Here are excerpts from two recent Colombian reviews:

“Spoken in Creole (Caribbean English) and Spanish, the film shows the island of both the tourists and the locals, with their customs ―highlighting the importance of family in spite of much fissure― and strong religious ties. All of these aspects that decorate the story are handled well and serve a purpose. Keyla is a good-natured film that shows us a beautiful, magical island of calm people, connected to the environment and cheerful, but who do not forget the ingratitude of the governments of the day. Despite these real social circumstances incorporated into the story, our interest in the plot is not lost, because of the script as well as the good performances of the four protagonists, including the local youngster Elsa Whitaker who plays Keyla. This feature film, made with much technical care, was filmed in 2015 and was financed with resources obtained through crowdfunding. Viviana Gómez Echeverry wanted to make a movie that would make this forgotten part of the country visible and display its richness and contrasts in a respectful manner. She has achieved this with a story of great simplicity and without major pretensions.” (Sandra Ríos, Cinevista)

“Seeing Providencia through the eyes of its inhabitants is appealing. Their language, Creole, which resembles English but isn’t, which feels African but isn’t, has a cadence that swaddles and lulls. […] We understand that we will not be able to identify with anything that we see and that the movie will reveal to us a country unknown to us, with customs that we do not understand. That is why, at first, the film engages. […] It must be said that the island, the music and the language captivate us more than does the story, which starts strong but little by little loses its audience. In the first scenes, we are drawn in by the father who means everything to his daughter, but very soon that connection with the characters disappears. When they switch from Creole to Spanish they lose credibility. Although the context engages, that is not enough. You expect to be moved, but aren’t. You want to be transformed, but aren’t.” (Cromos)

The complete, original reviews (in Spanish), are available here and here

For more recent news coverage of Keyla (all in Spanish), go to: (pp.18-21) (audio) (first 6 minutes)

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