Towards a National Cinema: An Analysis of Caliwood Films by Luis Ospina and Carlos Mayolo and Their Fundamental Contribution to Colombian Film
This dissertation proposes a re-evaluation of the films of Caliwood—a close-knit group of film fanatics who produced socially-minded independent cinema in Cali, Colombia—and the group’s contribution towards a national film industry. Focusing primarily on the works of Luis Ospina and Carlos Mayolo during the period ranging between 1971 and 1991, this study analyzes six key films—Oiga vea! (1972), Cali de Película (1973), Agarrando Pueblo (1977), Pura Sangre (1982), Carne de tu carne (1983)—which showcase the evolution of the group’s production from experimental documentaries to pseudo-documentaries and fictional films. Additionally, It All Started at the End (2015) is analyzed because it is the last film produced by Luis Ospina and it showcases the history of the group from his own perspective. In totality, these films represent a political stance derived from the tenets of the Third Cinema movement—a call for a revolutionary cinema which reverberated throughout Latin America—which denounces neocolonialism, the capitalist system, and the Hollywood model of cinema as mere entertainment for profit. Furthermore, this comprehensive analysis of Caliwood’s films covers a representative sample of their film legacy, as well as their critique of socio-political and cultural issues in Colombia. The reflections yielded from this study propose a reframing of Colombian film history and acknowledges the importance of Ospina’s and Mayolo’s contribution to the development of a “national” film tradition in Colombia.