Cine Las Americas 2012
By Caitlyn Collins | April 29, 2012
Directors: Jeffrey Gould, Carlos Henriquez Consalvi
Writers: Jeffrey Gould, Carlos Henriquez Consalvi
Like numerous other Latin American countries, El Salvador’s history is fraught with military dictatorships, rural poverty, civil war, and disappearances. La palabra en el bosque (The Word in the Woods) – written, directed and produced by Jeffrey Gould and Carlos Henriquez Consalvi – is a documentary about this horrific period.
Morazán is a rural, eastern department of El Salvador. Much of the area, in particular the northern region, is impoverished. During the 1970’s, farmers and peasants in the region decided to band together in order to help themselves survive. They turned towards the words of Jesus Christ and the Bible, forming communities to help out with the labor of farming. They learned to work together and respect each other as fellow farmers and Christians, and as a result, the areas began to thrive. The conservative military as well as the Catholic Church began to crack down on the citizens of Morazán labeling them leftists and communists. Realizing they would never get help from proper government channels, such as elections, these poor farmers began to fight back. This was the beginning of a brutal civil war that lasted twelve years in El Salvador, with thousands losing their lives.
La palabra en el bosque is told through a series of interviews with over a dozen farmers as well as political and spiritual leaders from Morazán. With so many voices included in the documentary, which only has a running time of 56 minutes, it feels a bit rushed and jumbled. While the film is informative, the history unfolding through the various voices, a bit more background information would be very helpful.