The Negotiation tells the story of the peace dialogues between the government of Colombia and the Marxist FARC guerrilla, the oldest insurgency of the hemisphere after more than half a century of war and three failed dialogue attempts.
It is the story of a long search for peace and of the difficulty of transforming a country that has only known war. Through the voices and images of the negotiators, the whole local political spectrum, the international community and victims, The Negotiation vividly displays the insurmountable obstacles created by both the fierce political opposition led by former president Álvaro Uribe and the anger of a sector of Colombian civilians that jointly want to stop what they see as rewarding with political participation and impunity a long history of violence by the rebels.
The documentary narrates from the inside the ups and downs of the process, the signing of the agreement and the dramatic turning point after peace seemed an already done deal, when unexpectedly the plebiscite to approve the Havana agreement was defeated by a razor-thin-margin.
Finally, another peace accord was signed, the guerrillas marched out from the deep jungles into the special holding zones and a few months later, they hand over their weapons to the UN Mission.
The images of FARC guerrillas emerging out of Colombia’s remote jungles and mountains to turn over their weapons seemed close to impossible just a few years ago. The oldest guerrilla of this hemisphere, the terror symbol for most Colombians, was demobilizing.
But if negotiations were difficult, the implementation of the agreement seems even harder and in jeopardy. This past August, the opposition party that has said that once in power they will “shred into pieces the agreement” came into power. The documentary portrays Colombia’s longing for peace and the inertia of violence that after a very long war seems to hold. For Colombia, making peace is harder than making war.
The screening will be followed by comments from the Symbolic Reparations Research Project members Ana María Reyes, Assistant Professor in Latin American Art History (Boston University) and Jose Falconi, Lecturer in Fine Arts (Brandeis University); and Q&A with the film director, Margarita Martinez.
Presented in collaboration with the Harvard Colombian Student Association and the Symbolic Reparations Initiative