“THE SHAPE OF NOW”— Remembering War


Remembering War

Amos Lassen

Manuel Correa’s experimental documentary “The Shape of Now” is about writing history for the sake of peace and reconciliation.

According to estimates around 200,000 people lost their lives in the 50-year Colombian civil war. Another 25,000 were kidnapped, many are still considered missing. When the peace deal between the government and the FARC (The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) rebels was signed in November 2016, guns were banned from the conflict and the country’s population have since faced the almost impossible task of having to agree on a common past. “The Shape of Now” shows us this strenuous process and Colombia’s leaden present from very different perspectives. Like the people of Colombia— the survivors, the grieving mothers, the historians and experts – this film is still in first orientation mode.

When Colombians are asked if they remember the war, each has a different story and different memories. We then ask ourselves if it is possible to write history from so many different perspectives. When we are in grade school, we are taught that history is the story of the past, of what came before us. It isn’t until much later that we learn that history can be totally different from person to person. Herein is the difficulty of writing history.
“The Shape of Now” attempts to present the difficulties of writing history in order to achieve peace and reconciliation.

The film opens us to the lived experiences of different social spheres invested peacekeeping: as scientists, academics and activists try to find possible routes to normalize a war-torn society, a group of elderly mothers find a direct way to approach the possible killers of their disappeared children by forging a necessary and genuine encounter in the attempt to find closure.

The film was made during and in response to the signing of the peace plan  between the government of Colombia  and the FARC-EP guerilla faction. This is a film that must be seen since it cannot simply be written about.

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