By Irene Escudero
Bogota, Apr 28 (EFE).- Good people outnumber the bad and serve as pillars of society worldwide, according to multiple Goya Award-winning Spanish actor Javier Camara, who said these unsung heroes fulfill their roles even though their actions at times are drowned out by political noise and violence.
“Spain is filled with good people who underpin this political moment of arguing and screaming and shouting. Colombia is the same … It’s poetic justice to provide cultural spaces for people who’ve done good things and have tried to do good things,” he said in a video interview with Efe coinciding with the presentation in Colombia of the 2020 film “El olvido que seremos” (Memories of My Father).
The picture directed by Spanish filmmaker Fernando Trueba is based on the like-named, award-winning 2006 memoir by Colombian author Hector Abad Faciolince.
Winner of the Best Iberoamerican Film prize at this year’s edition of Spain’s Goya Awards, the movie tells the story of Hector Abad Gomez (1921-1987), a Colombian medical doctor, university professor, human rights defender and crusader against political violence who was murdered by death-squad assassins in Medellin.
Camara plays the role of Abad Gomez, “the first (person) to dare talk about public health” in Colombia and a leader who sought to ensure mass vaccinations and access to clean water in all neighborhoods of Medellin.
“Today’s movies are teeming with superheroes who fly and wear a cape. And so we don’t talk about the real superheroes, those who go out everyday with the uniform of a health-care worker, a doctor, a firefighter … to do good for others,” the Spanish actor said.
Medellin was a very violent territory in the time of Abad Gomez, a city whose neighborhoods were fought over by paramilitaries, urban militias and drug traffickers, he recalled.
“Being a good person at that time, being a coherent person with structured arguments, being critical of different people must’ve been very complicated,” Camara said.
The opportunity to participate in the film – a Colombian production with a mostly Colombian cast – came as a complete surprise to Camara.
The catalyst was Abad Faciolince, who told the actor that his physical appearance and smile reminded him of his father.
“I knew (then) that I was going to climb a very high Mt. Everest with no oxygen but very good company, and I got involved in this adventure,” Camara said. “And the truth is I’m extremely proud. It’s been a very nice journey, I hope the people in Colombia enjoy it.”
Movie theaters are closed throughout the Andean nation due to a recent surge in coronavirus cases, causing the film’s premiere there – originally scheduled for Saturday – to be postponed until June 1.
“Recreation, culture is essential at this time. It’s saved many of us who haven’t gotten sick or had a lighter form of the illness,” Camara said.
By contrast, movie theaters in Spain have been operating uninterruptedly since mid-2020 at reduced capacity and with Covid-19 biosafety measures in place.
“The theater, the movies, culture, exhibitions, museums are safe,” said the actor, who expressed hope that Colombians can return soon to the movies and “nourish themselves with optimism and energy.” EFE