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Docuweeks Film Review: We Women Warriors (Dir. Nicole Karsin 2012)
By Kathryn Schroeder
August 23, 2012

The country of Colombia has always been a place of violence, political unrest, and consistently under scrutiny.  Famously known for its Drug Cartel, and former cartel leader Pablo Escobar, Colombia continues to supply 90% of the cocaine to US drug traffickers.  A rarely told viewpoint is that of the women in Colombia, from the rural villages that are caught in the crossfire between the government and guerillas.  Director Nicole Karsin ventures into this unchartered feminist viewpoint with the documentary We Women WarriorsWe Women Warriors Told from the perspective of three native women, Doris an Awa from Southern Colombia, Ludis a Kankuamo of Northern Colombia, and Flor Ilva, a Nasa woman in Southern Colombia, Karsin weaves an intricate story about perseverance in a place where violence has overrun the desire for peace, but three women seek to make change with non-violent actions.

The individual stories of Doris, Ludis, and Flor Ilva are shown separately throughout the documentary.  These women each have their own story to tell, own triumphs and heartbreaks, and Karsin keeps a strict eye on making sure to cast the women in the light they deserve.  We Women Warriors is not a documentary solely outlining the negative outcomes in the women's lives but also about the ways in which they achieve positive steps towards stopping the violence their villages face in a country at odds with itself.  Ludis' husband was killed without cause, being accused of but never proven to be part of the guerilla movement. In time she was accused as well, and thrown into jail for a year, leaving her young children alone with the village to care for them.  Still Ludis, after being released, finds it within herself to want more for her country, herself, and her family.  She does not let the anger of her incarceration affect her judgment or clear desire to make notable political issues that occur in her village of the greatest importance.  The most shocking is the fact that village farmers can sell plantains for US $.20 cents but coca for $30.00, and will be bought without question.  The instability of the economical landscape for villagers is shown in small snippets such as this, brief passages weaved throughout We Women warriors that focus on the necessity for change while giving validity to the need for villagers to utilize the resources they have been given in a time of unrest.

We Women Warriors unifying theme for Doris, Ludis, and Flor Ilva, is that each woman was influenced by their family to join the resistance.  Whether having their husband being murdered, an accident affecting their livelihood, or false imprisonment.  Each woman has had their share of trials, and each one continues to move forward, trying to carve out a better future for their family and community.  We Women Warriors is a fascinating portrait of survival and hope taking place in a country where guerillas, paramilitary units, and a country's own government are influenced and prone to actions not benefitting the people.  Doris, Ludis, and Flor Ilva develop their own methods to combat the negativity that surrounds their lives to bring about change, without violence or revenge. As Ludi states, "Leave revenge for God."  A statement that is unforgettable when witnessed on film in We Women Warriors, as is the entire documentary as it highlights the feminist fight for change in Colombia, and gives a voice to a part of the country's population that goes unnoticed and ignored by the world at large. 

We Women Warriors will premiere at Docuweeks 2012, for tickets and more information visit the Laemmle Theatres website:  Laemmle.com.   The films official website may be found at http://wewomenwarriors.com/.  More about Docuweeks:  http://www.documentary.org/docuweeks2012.

WE WOMEN WARRIORS from Nicole Karsin on Vimeo.

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