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We Women Warriors (2012)
Friday, August 24, 2012
WE WOMEN WARRIORS is an independent documentary feature that follows three native women caught in the crossfire of Colombia's warfare who are using nonviolent resistance to defend their people's survival. In Colombia there are 102 aboriginal groups, one-third of which are in danger of extinction because of the ongoing conflict. Trapped in a protracted predicament financed by the drug trade, indigenous women are resourcefully leading and creating transformation imbued with hope. WE WOMEN WARRIORS bears witness to rights abuses and interweaves character-driven stories about female empowerment, unshakable courage and faith in the survival of indigenous culture.
We Women Warriors (2012) | Preview
I began by asking how Ms. Karsin came across the story of the struggle of indigenous people in Colombia and these women.
NK: I was working as an independent journalist in Colombia. I moved there in 2002. I had a regular correspondent's gig with Pacifica Radio, and I did print and photography as freelance. My particular interest was to cover what was going on in rural Colombia because the conflict there plays out in a very different way than it does in the city. One can be in the city and almost not perceive the conflict, whereas in rural Colombia it's totally different. It's where all the armed fighters are. That's where they are vying for control of the land, usually to import arms and export drugs, but really for all different aspects of their illicit businesses. I went to rural Colombia a lot during the first years I was there and did a lot of stories, and I saw how the native peoples there are being killed by both sides of the conflict and how it wasn't covered very much by the Colombian press—a little bit, but certainly in the international press very little. It was something I felt like I wanted to help get the word out.
So once I decided I was going to do the story, I had already done reporting in Flor's community, for example. She's from southern Colombia. And I'd done reporting in other communities. I had permission from tribal authorities. I told them I wanted to make this film and the reasoning, and I had their permission to go out there and be filming. So in looking for my characters I came across them in different settings. Ludis I met while she was in prison. Flor, I had permissions from the authorities to look for a story and I went out there and it was right after they had killed an eleven year old boy, and Flor was the Governor of her region, and she was the leader confronting this crisis of difficult security because of their place in the line of fire. After the eleven year old boy was killed the people were sad, it was like the straw that broke their camel's back. They were ticked off and they weren't going to have it any more. So she and other tribal leaders were in the process of finding a way to remove the barracks and the danger the people were in without generating more violence. I was just there and I filmed her and I was just so impressed with this female leader very wisely leading a pacific movement to dismantle all the barracks—and Colombia armed forces are pretty tough. So I actually filmed the process for three weeks. I could tell she was looking. I was always filming her and she didn't feel very comfortable with me filming. She didn't know me very well obviously. After the victory of dismantling the barracks, I sent this very formal letter requesting her permission to be a subject of the film, and then the process—she and her authorities discussed it and analyzed it and decided yes. It took her two months just to get the letter that I sent her, so everything was a little slower.
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