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65th San Sebastian Film Festival
22/30 September 2017 - #65ssiff

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You are in: Home > 2019. 67th Edition  > Festival Diary > The thin line between barbarism and civilisation
The thin line between barbarism and civilisation
Waitings for the Barbarians
Saturday, September 28th, 2019

The Colombian filmmaker, Ciro Guerra, has visited the Festival on numerous occasions and this year he is here to present this first English-language film, Waiting for the barbarians, in Perlak. He explains that producer Michael Fitzgerald had been thinking about adapting J.M Coetzee’s novel for more than a decade encouraged by the author himself, but they hadn’t found the right director until they saw Guerra’s film El abrazo de la serpiente. He read the novel and saw that the story matched his interests fairly closely but what really ended up convincing him was the script written by Coetzee himself.

Although the story is universal in scope he acknowledges that the paramilitary forces who impose their reign of terror on a defenseless population were inevitably influenced by his own experience in Colombia. However he aimed to go beyond this impression and show that victims are just as capable of barbarism as the people who terrorise them. 

 

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