Studio: Imagina US
Plot Summary: This documentary relives the dramatic success of one of the most exciting rescue missions in recent history, to liberate from the clutches of the guerrilla Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) 15 hostages, including 3 U.S. citizens and former Columbian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt. The film includes accurate dramatizations of some of the events, in collaboration with the Columbian Army. The stunning interviews of former hostages Keith Stansell, Marc Gonsalves, and Corporal William Perez tell of the conflicts and suffering that the hostages lived through before being rescued.
Serious Jest: (Must See) This documentary is completely in Spanish, without a subtitle option, but for Spanish-speakers, the story is too good to pass up. The conflict between FARC and the Columbian government is fascinating by itself. In 2008, FARC held up to an estimated 40% of Columbian territory, having expelled the Columbian police and army from these mostly-jungle-and-mountainous areas, and sustaining itself with involvement in the drug trade, agribusiness, robberies, and kidnappings. As if that wasn’t enough of a black eye to the Columbian government, FARC managed to kidnap a Columbian presidential candidate from a high-class family, with heavy ties to the French government, during her campaign! The details of this rescue mission are unique, and may lead to a discussion about ethics in the way that it was conducted, particularly in the use of a humanitarian-organization disguise. Did the ends justify the means?
If you don’t speak Spanish, don’t worry. I’m sure that Hollywood will make a movie about these events at some point in the future. In the meantime, you can read Out of Captivity: Surviving 1,967 Days in the Columbian Jungle, a book by the 3 U.S. citizens about their capture, captivity, and rescue.