Eduardo Pedrosa, Louis de Rohan

Winning Moving Image

The documentary Los Guardianes is an intimate and intuitive doco short filmed in 2015 in the Sierra Nevada mountains of Northern Colombia. The simple artistic film features interviews with 2 elders from the home of the Tairona tribes, Arhuaco and Kogis. They share deeply personal expressions of how they see and experience humanity’s relationship with the natural world. For them, nature and community are both ruled by a single primitive sacred law, the law of nature.

For thousands of years, protected by the thick rainforests and 500m high mountain range set back from the Caribbean Sea, they have avoided colonisation and their culture has survived. The Arhuaco believe in a creator or father named Kakü Serankua. The father is the sun and the snowy peaks and the mother the earth and moon. The Kogi culture was founded on a belief in Aluna (The Great Mother), their creator and the force behind nature. In the last 100 years, their civilisation has come under threat suffering from human rights violations from the Colombian state, settlers establishing marijuana and coca plantations (for the production of cocaine), armed conflict and most recently climate change which is altering the conditions in which this agricultural community survives. These conversations are recorded inside their homes and on their indigenous lands located 50km from the Ciudad Perdida (the lost city of Teyuna), believed to have been built 650 years before Machu Picchu.

Whilst travelling in 2015, photojournalist Louis de Rohan and filmmaker Eduardo Pedrosa felt a spontaneous calling to record their experience in a modest and respectful way that deconstructs the classic documentary style defining a new artistic doco style suited to the ethereal and powerful nature of the story and its subjects. The film was shot at a time before the intense effects of climate change started to wreak havoc around the world with increasing frequency and intensity.

Los Guardianes