Skip to main content

Waiting for the Barbarians, written by J. M. Coetzee and directed by Ciro Guerra, will screen at the 17th FICM


Morelia, Michoacán, September 30, 2019

Waiting for the Barbarians,
written by J. M. Coetzee and directed by Ciro Guerra,
will screen at the 17th FICM

Waiting for the Barbarians, a film based on the homonymous novel by Nobel Prize winner for Literature, J.M. Coetzee, will have its premiere in Latin America at the 17th Morelia International Film Festival (FICM). The premiere will feature the presence of the award-winning writer, who was responsible for adapting his work to a script for the film, as well as the director, Colombian filmmaker, Ciro Guerra.

The film represents the first original screenplay by J.M.Coetzee and the first time Ciro Guerra films in the English language.

Released at the last Venice International Film Festival, Waiting for the Barbarians is a story about colonialism. For decades, the Magistrate has addressed all the affairs of a small settlement, ignoring the impending war between the barbarians and the Empire. After seeing how imperial soldiers torture and kill all the barbarians they find on their way, the Magistrate begins to question the legitimacy of imperialism and to take care of a young barbarian who has been blinded from the suffered tortures.

J.M. Coetzee (South Africa, 1940) is a South African novelist, essayist, linguist and translator, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003, among many other awards and honors such as the Booker Prize on two occasions, the Jerusalem Prize, the Central News Agency Literary Award on three occasions, the Prix Femina, and the Fiction International Prize awarded by the Irish Times.

Ciro Guerra (Colombia, 1981) debuted as director at age 23 with La sombra del caminante (2004), deserving of 15 prizes and selected in more than 80 international film festivals. El abrazo de la serpiente (2015), his third feature film, was screened during the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, where he won the CICAE award and was then nominated for an Oscar® for Best Foreign Film, the first Colombian film to receive this honor. Later he directed, along with his associate and producer Cristina Gallego, Pájaros de verano (2018), opening film of the Directors’ Fortnight and Oscar® finalist for Best Foreign Film.