August 27–December 20, 2020
Highly cinematic and thoughtfully presented, Simón Uribe’s first feature, Suspension, speaks eloquently to the fraught relationship between humankind and the forces of nature. Filming in southern Colombia, in the Amazon lowlands where the region’s dramatic topography creates a natural barrier to travel, Uribe tells the story of the road leading to Putumayo—specifically the section between Pasto and Mocoa, a poorly maintained, narrow dirt track that has been in existence since 1944. In a region prone to floods and landslides, the route is so dangerous that it has earned the unfortunate moniker “springboard of death.” The construction of a new highway bypass is a dream that has been decades in the making, prolonged by backbreaking work and astronomical costs. Amid the never-ending rain, Suspension reveals the ironies of this venture and the human toll it takes. Brilliant cinematography, sound design, and editing enhance a powerful documentary that rewards repeat viewing. Uribe, who is also a geographer, professor, and researcher, brings an informed perspective to this intelligent meditation on modernity and its limitations.