What is Truth? What is Fiction? Memories mobilized in the Film Perro Come Perro (Dog Eat Dog)
Author(s)Paola Clavijo González
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AbstractThis article explores the memories on contemporary violence mobilized in the Colombian film Dog Eats Dog of the director Carlos Moreno from Cali, Colombia released in 2008. The film, one of the most discussed between the years 2003 and 2013, is analyzed from the perspective of the theoretical contributions of Pécaut, Todorov and Halbwachs. Memory is approached as a collective social fact that expresses the meditations of different groups on situations that have affected them, as can be observed in the recent attempt by the Colombian fiction cinema to rework this phenomenon. Cinema as cultural product constitutes a vehicle for memory when constructing and communicating stories of the lived past. This exercise of re-memorizing is crisscrossed by the uses of the past in the present, through a conscious and unconscious selection of what and how to remember. As fiction is language of the memory, it is imperative to understand how the groups behind the cinematographic productions put into action meanings, plots considered legitimate and true to be told, to create narratives about the realities they experience. As a cinematographic product is the unit of analysis, an interdisciplinary methodology was adopted, using the actantial model of Greimas and Martín Serrano and a Goffmaninspired model on the characters and identifiers; the social framework evoked in the film is described, the identities, objects and places are identified, their narrative programs are elaborated and the types of memories mobilized are established. One of most interesting findings is the magical-religious experience as one of the fundamental narrative threads of the story. The film appeals to one of the emblematic metaphors of the violence in Colombia, in which the conflict is lived and explained through the intervention of supernatural forces, eliminating the social attributes of those who wage the war. The conflict appears as a spectacular and mythical resource that must be valued for its melodramatic and anecdotal character.