Fascinating movie

Fortress Magazine – Football-obsessed road movie winds its way through Colombia | Movies


SHot on a few portable cameras, this documentary follows three young men – El Loco, Lechero and Carlitos – from northeast Colombia as they traverse thousands of miles of rugged road, mostly stealthily hopping on moving trucks and grabbing food from strangers along the way. It’s a dangerous trip, but the guys don’t have much to lose given the harsh poverty of their day-to-day life. The goal, besides being just something to do, is to see their Atlético football team Bucaramanga, aka the Leopards, is playing for a promotion chance in Division A after eight long years in Division B.

Self-proclaimed “hooligans,” it is clear that they see this pilgrimage as an act of honor to the club they love as well as something they do on behalf of deceased friends. Before leaving for the key game, they visit the grave of a deceased comrade and blow spliff smoke in his direction as an offering. Once on the road, they meet other supporters – a scuffle almost breaks out on the ramp until they realize they are other Leopards fans – and survive thanks to the kindness of strangers . Director Andres Torres doesn’t show as much violence in football stadiums, but it is hinted at throughout and the end credits pay homage to some of the dead.

While it’s hard not to admire the filmmakers’ dedication to keeping up with their subjects, even if that means the camera shakes like a tabby in a cat transporter as they jump on trucks and the like, hardcore style truth here is a bit cold. We don’t really know these guys that well, and the filmmakers certainly aren’t questioning or examining their self-destructive lifestyle. In the end, it’s a bit of a chore, and not that interesting unless you’re really into Colombian highways or the machismo of football fans.

The Fortress is available December 24 on True Story.