Colombian director Juan Pablo Rios was the first of three filmmakers coming for the rough cut sessions of DocsBarcelona 2014. The concept of the sessions is very simple: the filmmaker turns up with his work at a rough cut stage, a lot is still to be done but the rough cut stage allows him/her to receive comments and constructive criticism from a small, hand-picked panel of people, who are used to watch rough cut and give competent feedback.
The title of the director’s rough cut was ”The Return”, 90 minutes long, pitched at DocsBarcelona 2013, where I wrote the following words:
”Colombian Juan Pablo Rios showed his cinematic talent with a teaser that accompanied his ambition to tell a story called ”The Return” about a family of 9 sisters, their suffering and need to leave the town, they lived in, when the father took his own life. 45 years have passed, they return…”
So, one year later, and after several cuts, Rios confirmed fully his talent with material that can turn into a great film, feature length, beautifully shot with wonderful characters, the sisters, including his mother, one of several charismatic characters, who – a quote from the film – ”are united in sadness”. Yes, there is a lot of pain in this film that takes us to a small community where a suicide had severe consequences for a family’s life. But there is also a beautiful warm solidarity between the sisters, and anecdotes and life situations to be identified with.
A couple of more months editing work and a fine Colombian film will travel the world.