Valley of Souls

The river of Colombian souls


The first fiction feature by Colombian director Nicolás Rincón Gille Tantas Almas is a harrowing story about memory ripped and regained at any cost, even with illusion. José, a Colombian fisherman, returns home after his fishing trip. He calls his three children at roll call, but only the girl answers his calls, upset. The paramilitaries have taken Dionisio and Rafael, the brothers. Overwhelmed by grief, José, aware of the worst, goes in search of their remains along the river to give them a burial, to give peace to the wandering souls of his children. Winner of the Etoile d’Or at the Marrakech Film Festival, Tantas Almas is an epic, tragic, solitary, animistic journey of a man who symbolizes a piece of Colombia and the brutal ethnic cleansing suffered during the Colombian civil war between 1998 and 2002 by a populist paramilitary organization Death and Cleanliness. A song of subdued pain, which has its backbone in the Magdalena River, tomb of corpses abandoned in a water from which it is even forbidden to fish for human remains, whole bodies: penalty of death for those caught in the fault. Tantas Almas is embodied by José Arley de Jesús Carvallido Lobo, who carries all the strength, despair and courage of an unequal struggle guided by blind love, chance, solidarity, hatred, terror and resignation. A story through images of high emotional and visual maturity: a silence and a soul that never leaves us. A denunciation of the atrocities of war, of men, of destiny.

Maria Cera

About the Director

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Economy in Bogotá, Nicolás Rincón Gille studied in Belgium at the INSAS. He worked as a cinematographer on a few films and directed three short films before embarking on his trilogy project Campo Hablado dedicated to the richness of oral tradition in Colombia’s countryside. The first part, Those Waiting in the Dark (2007), received the Joris Ivens Award at Cinéma du Réel, followed by the second part, The Embrace of the River (2010), which was awarded the Montgolfière d’Or Prize at the Festival des 3 Continents. Wounded Night (2015) is the last part of the trilogy, awarded Special Mention from the International Jury at Cinéma de Réel and Best Film in the Colombian Competition at FICCI in 2016. Valley of Souls (Tantas Almas) is his first fiction feature.