TRAUMA: Living with an identity disorder as a consequence of Colombia’s lengthy armed conflict, an ex guerilla soldier must face a past he is desperate to forget.
Carmen Gray
Freelance film critic and regular contributor to Modern Times Review.
Published date: October 16, 2019

In Colombia, the armed conflict that has gone on since 1964 has taken a huge human toll. With the prevalence of death, internal displacement, and forced disappearances many civilians continue to live in fear. Colombia’s National Centre for Historical Memory puts the figure of Colombians who are direct victims of this long, low-intensity war at 16.9%.

The fighting arose from high levels of inequality in the country as communist guerillas organised against the government in a struggle for the poor’s. Revolutionary armed group the National Liberation Army (ELN) was founded by Colombian rebels trained in Cuba and headed by Roman Catholic priests who embraced the radical ideas of Liberation Theology (a synthesis of Christianity and Marxism that sought to better the conditions of the oppressed). It has been countered not only by the state but by U.S. backed right-wing paramilitaries as part of its aggressive efforts to sabotage and snuff out communism. Levels of violence rocketed in the ‘80s as drug trafficking entered the mix (feeding a massive appetite in the U.S. via organised crime channels).

Torn apart by trauma

It helps to know this basic background going into Camila Rodriguez Triana’s In Ashes (En Cenizas) (screening at

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