Bogotá Change

Andreas Mol Dalsgaard, Denmark, 2009, color, HDcam, 55'

An exciting and rapidly edited portrait of a city that has risen like a phoenix from the ashes. Bogotá, capital of Colombia, was long notorious as one of the most criminal, dangerous, and inhospitable cities in the world. The turnabout came in 1995, when Antalas Mockus was elected mayor of the city in a landslide victory. The head of a university, he had previously caused a sensation when, faced with a hall full of loudly protesting students, he dropped his trousers. This unexpected mooning earned him approval and respect. And once elected mayor, the city waited with baited breath to see how he would apply his unorthodox methods to realize crucial changes in mentality. He taught the citizens to live together and to take on responsibility. Then Mockus cleared the way for his successor, the next visionary mayor, Enrique Peñalosa, who would transform the city's infrastructure from 1998 onwards. Peñalosa oversaw the creation of bicycle paths, leafy parks, sports fields, playgrounds, libraries, and the ambitious public transport project Transmillennium. Director Andreas Mol Dalsgaard combines streetscapes, interviews, archive footage, and animations in a dynamic reconstruction of this success story. It is the tale of two men who, unencumbered by party politics, succeeded in transforming hopeless deprivation into a head start. Nowadays, Bogotá's metamorphosis is seen as a shining example of humane urban renewal.


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