La Sierra | Chicago Reader

La Sierra

In the hillside slums of Medellin, Colombia, paramilitary groups and leftist guerrillas battle for control. As this 2004 documentary shows, this isn't about political ideology—it's a turf war among thugs. To give this nightmare a human face, filmmakers Scott Dalton and Margarita Martinez profile three people: a 22-year-old paramilitary commander with a fatalistic outlook, a 19-year-old soldier who's lost a hand to a grenade and now spends most of his time high, and a pregnant 15-year-old who's trying to remain optimistic about her jailed boyfriend. The intense focus on this trio makes for good portraiture, but it left me hungry for more about the social context that shaped them. In Spanish with subtitles. 86 min.

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