Land and Shade

Not available for screening anymore

Land and Shade (La tierra y la sombra)

Directed by César Acevedo

  • Colombia, France, Netherlands, Chile, Brazil 2015; 97 min
  • Original version: Spanish
  • Genre: Drama
    • Caméra d'Or - Cannes IFF
    • France 4 Visionary Award, SACD Award - La Semaine de la Critique
    • Best Cinematography (Mateo Guzmán) - Lima FF
    • Spanish Cooperation Award - San Sebastián IFF
    • Best Director - Tofifest


Alfonso is an old farmer who has returned home to tend to his son, who is gravely ill. He rediscovers his old house, where the woman who was once his wife still lives, with his daughter-in-law and grandson. The landscape that awaits him resembles a wasteland. Vast sugar cane plantations surround the house, producing perpetual clouds of ash. 17 years after abandoning them, Alfonso tries to fit back in and save his family.

Director's Statement

The idea for this film was born of personal pain. At the time I began writing the screenplay my mother was dead, my father was a ghost, and given my inability to generate memories, they seemed completely lost to me. Thus arose my need to make a film that would allow me to recover the two most important people in my life, using the language of film. This led to my decision to create a microcosm consisting of a small house and a tree, where I could somehow be reunited with those I loved most.

My origins are in Colombia’s Valle del Cauca region, whose economy depends mainly on the sugar industry. My intention from the start was to speak of a people devastated by a paradoxical idea of progress, which has generated numerous social problems that have remained invisible to the eyes of history.

As the conflict focused on the family drama, the most important thing was to convey the distance between the characters' bodies and emotions. I needed a device that would force the characters to share the same space and time, despite the lack of communication between them. This discomfort caused the gradual revelation of these passions and emotions as each of the characters was forced to confront the others, and the space they all inhabit. That’s why the use of sequence shots is essential. They not only rendered the characters' enclosure in the physical and emotional space more palpable, but also served to motivate their actions in the frame. We wanted shots that would allow us to experience time, so that the viewer would also have a chance to feel what they were seeing without being confined to what was happening on the screen.




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