B+ The Colors of the Mountain. On one level, this is a funny tale about adorable boys who love soccer, set against beautiful mountain scenery. On another, and more important level, it’s about the harse realities of third-world life when caught between violent revolutionaries and an utterly heartless and cruel government. At first, Manuel’s life seems good. His family is poor, but not desperate. They have electricity and running water, and his parents buy him a brand-new soccer ball for his birthday. Then the revolutionaries mine the makeshift soccer field, and then the army arrives. Writer/director Carlos César Arbeláez shows us the effects of political upheaval through the eyes of someone too young to understand what is happening, but old enough to be horrified.
The Colors of the Mountain won’t play the festival again, but it may receive a theatrical release later.