The surface of the skull is smooth as marble, except for the fractures surrounding the small, round bullet hole. The camera penetrates this opening, revealing the rock-like landscape within, of deep ravines, jagged-edged craters, and bony reefs. Here and there we see a web hanging, inhabited by a spider. The gurgling and whooshing of the tapestry of sound intensifies the ominous atmosphere.
Bullet sees Netherlands-based Peruvian video artist Maya Watanabe exploring the skull of an unidentified victim of the Peruvian Civil War, which raged from 1980 to 2000. A truth commission has estimated that 70,000 people died—most of them from indigenous communities—in this conflict between state military organizations, guerilla group Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path), and other factions. The film bears powerful witness to this past and to the neglected state in which the victim’s remains are left.