By Alberto Rodríguez Collía
On the 14th of May 2011, the Zetas invaded Los Cocos Farm (Petén, northern Guatemala) and decapitated 27 of its 28 workers as they awaited the arrival of their boss on payday. Using one of the victims’ legs, they painted a message on the front of the main house for the owner, who was absent at the time. This brutal crime brought to mind the viciousness of the massacres that had taken place during the Guatemalan Civil War (1960-1996).
Julio (Hernández Cordón) would come to use this event as a starting point for what would be his fifth film, a western based on narcos—drug traffickers—with the dry settings of the country’s east as a background. We had first collaborated on Until the Sun Has Spots, a film for which all of the backdrops were drawn in chalk, in a sort of reimagining of the origins of film. That picture, like Work in Progress, was awarded a prize that paid for the production of the next film without needing a script. [CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL TEXT]
This is the second in a series of articles co-presented with Colección Cisneros. The series explores themes in contemporary culture and the overlap between the visual arts and film.