A Story That You Won’t Believe
Strangers to Peace
Year Released: 2022
Runtime: 1h 28m
Director(s): Laura Ángel Rengifo, Noah DeBonis
Where To Watch: now available via VOD
RAVING REVIEW: Are you ready for a rollercoaster of emotions with STRANGERS TO PEACE? This poignant and powerful documentary, directed by Laura Ángel and Noah Debonis, chronicles the lives of three former child soldiers who struggle to reintegrate into society after leaving the FARC guerrilla army and the violent Colombian conflict.
What sets STRANGERS TO PEACE apart is its raw, authentic vantage point of the experiences, bringing viewers to eye level in the struggles of Dayana, Ricardo, and Alexandra. Dayana, a market vendor, is trying to rebuild her life while hiding her past from her newfound LGBTQ community. Ricardo, a young father, faces the dilemma of revealing his past to his future students and their parents. And Alexandra is trying to reconnect with her family and find her place in the world.
STRANGERS TO PEACE is essential to the ongoing discussion of Colombian history and peace-building challenges. The film also sheds light on the complex history of the Colombian conflict, which lasted over fifty years and devastatingly impacted soldiers, guerrilla fighters, and everyday Colombians. While a bilateral ceasefire was reached in 2016, reintegrating former FARC members into society has been far from smooth.
The sound design and music in STRANGERS TO PEACE are exceptional, capturing the vibrant sounds of Colombia, from its bustling streets to its remote jungles. The cinematography is also a standout feature of the film, with the camera capturing every subtle detail, conveying meaning as effectively as dialogue through offhand gestures and veiled reactions. Steady shots and drone footage add a cinematic quality to the documentary, making it a genuinely well-produced film.
While STRANGERS TO PEACE could have provided more context on the history of government exploitation in South America, it remains a powerful and moving documentary that is a must-see for anyone interested in understanding this critical moment in Colombian history.
In conclusion, STRANGERS TO PEACE emphasizes loss, acceptance, and reconciliation, providing a much-needed glimpse into a critical moment in Colombian history.
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[photo courtesy of FREESTYLE DIGITAL MEDIA]