“Red Jungle”, the story of the sinking of a revolutionary utopia – rts.ch

“Red Jungle”, the story of the sinking of a revolutionary utopia – rts.ch

An animated film on the armed struggle of the FARC in Colombia, “Red Jungle” was shot, without jungle or sets, in a Geneva studio. Directed by Juan Lozano and Zoltan Horvath, this Franco-Swiss co-production is currently in theaters.

March 2008. In the Colombian jungle, the oldest communist guerrilla in the world is living its last moments. Raul Reyes, number 2 of the FARC, is killed in a bombardment by the Colombian army and the CIA. He leaves behind him an incredible document: ten years of correspondence where all the actors of the conflict meet, testimony to a fierce struggle for the revolution.

“What interested us beyond the particular historical moment was to delve into the head of this man [Raul Reyes] and to accompany it in this drift. The FARC existed for 50 years and in the end, it was no longer a guerrilla fighting for noble ideals, but a completely adrift guerrilla who had lost the north”, explains to RTS Juan Lozano, co-director.

“Red Jungle” thus offers an immersion in the story of the intimate and political life of Raul Reyes and in that of a revolutionary utopia which wanted to change the world before sinking into shipwreck.

>> To see: the trailer of the film

Filmed in the suburbs of Geneva

Presented last March at the Geneva International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights, the feature film is co-directed by Juan Lozano and Zoltan Horvath. Highly documented fiction inspired by real events, it was filmed in Spanish.

“Red Jungle” is an animated film. Don’t look for trees, humidity or real Colombian wildlife. The film was shot in a studio in the Geneva suburbs. On the set, a green background as the only decor, replaced after filming, thanks to computers, by a nature recreated in drawings or computer-generated images. On the other hand, real actors embody the FARC guerrillas. Jean-Pierre Gontard, emissary of the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs for the peace process in Colombia between 1998 and 2016, for example, embodies his own role in the film.

>> To listen: the report of “Vertigo” devoted to the shooting of the film (January 2020)

Cinema: Report on the shooting of “La jungle rouge” / Vertigo / 6 min. / January 7, 2020

The jungle, another main character of the film

To make “Red Jungle” an animated film, Juan Lozano turned to director Zoltan Horvath. The choice of animation was made because Juan Lozano wanted the jungle to change with his characters: “The jungle had to marry the evolution of the character and his spirit. I wanted it to illustrate the spirit of Raul Reyes: at the beginning , a very open, very straight jungle […] as it goes, it closes in, becomes more and more gloomy, and in the end, it looks like something spooky as if it had completely lost the link with reality”, explains Zoltan Horvath to RTS.

Obviously, it would have been easier to go directly to shoot in the jungle, “but it would have been less fun” stresses Juan Lozano again. “Red Jungle” is the result of a long process and a long work of which the two directors are very proud. “We really wanted to create an aesthetic, visual and cinematographic proposal that brings the viewer to a different experience, a sensory experience”, concludes Juan Lozano.

Interview by Anne Laure Gannac

Web adaptation: Lara Donnet

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