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Short summary

A Colombian farmer and his son are exiled from their village at the high planes. They boy befriends a girl to borrows a little dog to play with, while the father is forced to work in the illegal Amapola (poppy) filed. The two stories intertwine when one day the boy follows his father to work...

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    • Author: Vozuru
    ........ ........... ............ ............ ........from Pasto,Colombia...Via: L.A. CA, CALI, Colombia and ORLANDO, FL

    If you have never seen a Colombian Film, AMAPOLAS would be an outstanding and delicious introduction to Colombian cinema! I spent over a year and a half trying to get my hands on this film based on my Colombian Sister-In- Law's recommendation. God Bless the SUNDANCE Channel! It was well worth the wait! In his directorial debut, and only turn in the Director's chair to date, Juan Carlos Melo Guevara has crafted a uniquely regional parable whose universality blinds us via cinematic Super-Nova!

    Simon (Luis Burbano Burgos), like most kids who find themselves entrapped in perilous circumstances, yearns for a universe that will grant him the space to be…a kid. His widower father (Emilio, played flawlessly by Carlos Alberto Hualpa) is forced to wear many hats, since he and Simon are all that is left of their family. Unfortunately, countless thousands of rural Colombian families have suffered a similar fate, victims of violence and intimidation stemming from several different sources, forced to take sides with either the Guerrillas or their Paramilitary adversaries. But Simon and his father, despite the mundane chaos in which they find themselves immersed, seem determined to turn the page and move forward with what remains of their shattered lives.

    Simon's father encounters work, albeit reluctantly, thanks to the recommendation and insistence of his cousin, Wilson (Juan Carlos Rosero), in one of the apparently few relatively well-paying jobs available in the village, at the local opium processing lab! Despite Simon being of late elementary school age, attending school is something which seems to be ZERO priority in this unnamed Colombian Village, located very near the Ecuadorian border.

    Simon soon forms a bond with a neighbor girl (Paula Paez), who has fallen in love with another neighbor's (Doña Genoveva/Andrea Trejo) little terrier, "Rufino" (Played by Himself). Oddly, Simon, his neighbor friend and "Rufino", whom the kids end up kidnapping daily (Read: Borrow), form the triangle, around which the film revolves, serving as a metaphor for how childhood should be. In a perfect world, AMAPOLAS would undoubtedly present us with an extremely happy ending.

    AMAPOLAS truly was a surreal experience for me. Despite having seen many thousands of films in my lifetime, perhaps only a couple dozen of these were Colombian. Yet, none of them were ever dominated by such a splendid tapestry of local regional accents, such an exquisite backdrop of breathtaking picture postcard local scenery (Elevations vary between 8 and 10 thousand feet, so bring your oxygen masks!) and such a delicate and delicious mix of inspirational regional Andean melodies. I have encountered and interacted with all of the above since my first visit to Nariño in April of 1964, but to experience them as so deftly projected on screen by Director Juan Carlos Melo after over a half century of real life direct contact, is something so unique, so uncanny, it is nothing short of truly indescribably surreal!

    There are 2 critical negative facts of daily life which are presented in a very low-key, matter-of-fact way. The indiscriminate use of the herbicide Glysophate (Produced by our ever-so-user- friendly Monsanto) and the predominance of land mines hidden in the Colombian landscape. To all of my Facebook Friends who live in Nariño, I urge you to be a little pro-active regarding this masterpiece. Director Melo deserves all the help he can get in relation to AMAPOLAS. Try to see the movie and Enroll in IMDb.com (FREE- takes 2 minutes!) and rate the film highly! Also, Please vote "YES" here on my review …Which only can be submitted in English, BTW! (IMDb.com RULES, not mine!)

    ENJOY!/DISFRUTELA!

    Any comments, questions or observations, in English o en Español, are most welcome!
  • Credited cast:
    Luis Burbano Burgos Luis Burbano Burgos - Simon
    Paula Paez Paula Paez - Luisa
    Carlos Alberto Hualpa Carlos Alberto Hualpa - Emilio (as Carlos Hualpa)
    Juan Carlos Rosero Juan Carlos Rosero - Wilson
    Luis Lozano Luis Lozano - Ramiro
    Lina Maria Arango Lina Maria Arango - Amparo
    Fabio Antonio Escobar Fabio Antonio Escobar - Gonzalo
    Jose Libardo Chamorro Jose Libardo Chamorro - Don Rufino
    Andrea Trejo Andrea Trejo - Doña Genoveva
    Julio Cesar Luna Julio Cesar Luna - Shopkeeper
    Rosario Jurado Rosario Jurado - Don Rufino's Wife
    Victor Hugo Uscategui Victor Hugo Uscategui - Drug Lab Chemist
    Fabian Villota Fabian Villota - Paramilitary Chief
    Rufino Rufino - Rufino / Negro the Dog
    Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
    Jesus Arciniegas Jesus Arciniegas - Fieldhand
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