Silent Witnesses

(Mudos testigos)
Luis Ospina, Jerónimo Atehortúa | Experimental, Drama, Documentary, Romance

2023 | 79 minutes | Colombia, France

An imaginary trek through the history of Colombia (and its cinema) during the first half of the 20th century, using footage of Colombian silent film.


Silent Witnesses tells the impossible love story between Efraín and Alicia during the first half of the 20th century in Colombia.

Based on remnants of the few Colombian silent films from 1922-1937 that have withstood the test of time, and taking as a reference several key Colombian novels, this new imaginary story pays homage to this little-known found cinema.

What begins as a melodrama, in which Efraín falls in love with Alicia, engaged to Uribe, a powerful and vengeful industrialist, turns into a journey into the heart of the jungle, in which Efraín will witness the humiliating living conditions of the peasants of southern Colombia and the genesis of an armed rebellion.

Silent Witnesses is the posthumous work from one of the most prolific filmmakers in the Latin American cinematic and documentary tradition, Luis Ospina. Heir to his peers, Ospina entrusted this project to Jerónimo Atehortúa, whose new voice and political commitment are harbingers of a promising future.


"Ospina and Arteaga curate fascinating footage from an especially unknown pocket of world cinema." - Vadim Rizov, Filmmaker Magazine

Main credits

Ospina, Luis (film director)
Ospina, Luis (screenwriter)
Atehortúa Arteaga, Jerónimo (film director)
Atehortúa Arteaga, Jerónimo (screenwriter)
Atehortúa Arteaga, Jerónimo (film producer)
Chillón, Eva (film producer)
Sebastián Mora, Juan (screenwriter)
Estrada Vergara, Roberto (actor)
Meva, Mara (actor)
Burgos, Rafael (actor)

Other credits

Editing, Juan Sebastián Mora, Federico Atehortúa; music, Carlos Quebrada.

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Buenos Aires Independent International Film Festival BAFICI - Best Feature Avant Garde and Genre; Olhar de Cinema - Best Feature; New Visions; International Film Festival Rotterdam; Las Palmas International Film Festival; Documenta Madrid; Jeonju International Film Festival; FICUNAM; ECRA; Hamburg Film Fest; Yamagata Documentary Film Festival; Biarritz Latin American Film Festival; FICCALI; PACCPA; 3 Continents; FicValdivia - Opening Film; Festival de Cine Colombiano de Buenos Aires; Festival de Cine de la Montaña (Salento); Doc Lisboa

DIRECTOR: Luis Ospina, Jerónimo Atehortúa

NATIONALITY: Colombia, France

YEAR: 2023

GENRE: Experimental, Drama, Documentary, Romance


COLOR / B&W: Black and white

GRADE LEVEL: High School, College, Adult



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