The Chirola

La chirola

  • Diego Mondaca
  • Bolivia
  • 2008
  • 26 min
  • European Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Student Documentary
In this distinct, sometimes poetic film, form and content are equally important. Every image is carefully framed and can go out of focus or rather re-establish it. In The Chirola, former convict Padro Cajias tells his story in a fragmented monologue. He saw his long incarceration among murderers, rebels and paramilitaries as a punishment. For him, it was a relief, a long vacation after a turbulent period. In addition to structure, life in prison offered him companionship and better health. He put on weight, worked out a lot, and actually had considerable difficulty when he became aware that his release was coming up. The last thing he wanted to do was exchange one prison for another. He received a puppy from an empathetic guard, and that puppy became his salvation. In Cajia's mind, the dog turned him into a more civilised person; more civilised than he ever could have become among people. As a result, he didn't want to reintegrate into society, but rather sought a place on the sidelines: a simple house with a piece of land where he can look up at the starry sky, his dog at his side.


  • 26 min
  • color / black and white
  • video
  • Spoken languages: Spanish
  • Subtitles in: English
Diego Mondaca
Diego Mondaca for Escuela Internacional de Cine y Television EICTV
Andrés Boero Madrid
Aldo Álvares Morales
Ruben Valdes Sanz

IDFA history

European Premiere
IDFA Competition for Student Documentary

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IDFA history

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