A Matter of Land
( Un Asunto de Tierras )

Patricia Ayala Ruiz
2014 - 78 min - Couleur - Colombie, Venezuela

From start to finish, "A Matter of Land" draws a horrendously perfect circle: the orb of a change that the Colombian Government enshrined in 2011 law without allowing its implementation. Patricia Ayala Ruiz could well have filmed the large-scale return of lands to Colombia’s victims of violence as four million rural smallholders were concerned. In this case, she would have accompanied the developments of this historic vote from afar. Instead, she sticks to the viewpoint of a few former inhabitants of Las Palmas—a village so aban- doned that the administration no longer even names it. Alternating the speeches made to the Assembly and the uphill battle for anyone who tries to reclaim their home, the editing lays its finger on the grammar of denial: “I know... but even so” the government might say, at the same time scandalised by the mass expulsions yet quick to mount a bar- rage of red tape against the victims. But as the film advances, we meet an astonishing variety of small groups or individuals that lend their support, be they confessional or “leaders of the return movement” (we hear incidentally on the radio that 53 of them have been assassinated). We only have to witness the young couple that have come to fill in a form on behalf of 1,500 families, and who later describe their childhood traumas, to see the overpowering dignity shining through in this sombre Kafkaesque frame.
(Charlotte Garson)

Author-Director : Patricia Ayala Ruiz
Photography : Ricardo Restrepo
Sound : Jose Jairo Flórez
Editing : Gabriel Baudet
Delegate Producer : Pathos Audiovisual
Co-producer : Alter Producciones Audiovisuales


Distributor : Pathos Audiovisual


2015 - Cinéma du réel, Paris (France) : Compétition Internationale - Premiers Films
2015 - Panorama du cinéma colombien, Paris (France) : Compétition Longs Métrages
2015 - Images en bibliothèques, Paris (France) : Film soutenu par la Commission nationale de sélection des médiathèques