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'Super Citizen' Antanas Mockus is star of 'Life is Sacred' documentary

Miami International Film Festival features a Human Rights Watch favorite

(LIFE IS SACRED | COURTESY OF MIAMI FILM FESTIVAL)

MIAMI – In "Life is Sacred," an inspiring movie about a politician who wears a cape and calls himself "Super Citizen," the Danish director Andrea Dalsgaard followed the presidential candidate and the hopeful idealism of his supporters for about five years.

The "Super Citizen" is Antanas Mockus, the son of Lithuanian immigrants, born in Bogota, Colombia. He studied philosophy and mathematics, and when he was the president of the most respected public university in Colombia, he took to mooning rowdy students to get their attention. Under his directive as mayor of Bogota, the homicide rate reportedly fell 70 percent and traffic fatality reports were cut in half.

"This is a story about a fearless politician and his devoted followers," Dalsgaard said on the film's website. "With an army of young people hoping for change, he uses mimes, pencils, flash-mobs and superhero costumes to attack the corruption and violence in Colombia."

Mockus' worldwide famous policies included hiring about 420 mimes to ridicule and traffic violators. The strategy has been implemented all over the world -- including Mexico, Venezuela, Panama and Honduras. And to reduce the homicide rate, he also came up with the "Girls Night Out" policy, which sponsored free cultural events for women one day a week and issued men a curfew.

ABOUT THE MOVIE

Language: Spanish with English subtitles

Country: Norway, Ireland, Denmark, Colombia

Running time: 104 minutes

Showtimes: 3 p.m., 6 p.m., March 8, at the Coral Gables Art Cinema, 260 Aragon Ave.

Filmmakers: Andreas Dalsgaard, Signe Byrge, Anne Kohncke, Janus Billeskov Jansen, Nicolas Servide Staffolani and Viviana Gomez Echeverry.

The movie is set as Mockus was running his presidential campaign in 2010. His desire to fight corruption was as strong as his hope of witnessing the end of the asymmetric Colombian conflict, which began in the 1960s and over the years has involved the Venezuelan government and the United States military.

In the film, "a young woman falls in love with the movement, but to change a society penetrated by illegality, turns out to be much more difficult than she ever anticipated," Dalsgaard said.

It's against the backdrop of the Green Party supporters, including the passionate Katherine Miranda. She and thousands of others were relentless in their push for electing Mockus and embraced a message of peace, known as the "La Vida Es Sagrada" campaign.

Despite his loss to the now President Juan Manuel Santos, ,the social media savvy activists continue their work with events such as the hash tag "Life March 8" march planned nationwide for  March 8th.  In Miami, the demonstration will be held near to where the film will be shown, in front of the Colombian consulate, 280 Aragon Ave., in Coral Gables.

"More than a 1,000 people die violently every month [in Colombia]," Santos said in a statement in Spanish Thursday. He added that he was encouraging Colombians worldwide to join the marches and support Mockus' effort.

A growing number of refugees continue to hope for the day when they will be able to return home, as negotiations between left-wing guerrillas and the government continue in Havana.

The film produced by Final Cut For Real was selected for the Miami International Film Festival's Knight Competition and The Knight Documentary achievement award. It premiered Nov. 8th at the Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival. It has been shown at the Russian International Independent Film Festival, and will be shown during the Human Rights Watch film festival in London later this month.

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