DOK Leipzig 29 October – 4 November 2018
61st International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film
DOK Leipzig Film Festival

When the Bull Cried

When the Bull Cried

Giant fourthousanders rise majestically to the skies in the Bolivian Andes. Grey-blue craggy steep faces and white mountain clouds flow into each other. Mining is the sole industry here. People climb down into the stony bowels of the mountains and risk their lives to mine silver and other minerals. The freezing cold, dark mineshafts regularly collapse and bury the workers, many of them still children, alive. They say that the souls of those who die in the shaft must wander for three days, all the time pursued by “el tío”, the evil mountain god. They fight their fear with alcohol and coca; superstitions abound. The men especially live in a loop of work, alcohol and aggression, hoping every day for the big find and trying to propitiate the spirits with sacrifices. Archaic rituals are meant to appease Mother Earth, but a look into the people’s exhausted faces makes one suspect that their faith is shaken with every death.

A visually stunning film that manages to transport the viewer into the breathtaking Andean landscape without turning into a geography lesson. Haunting, alarming and moving – great cinema above the clouds.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann

Nominated for Healthy Workplaces Film Award


Original Title: Cuando el toro lloró
Country: Belgium, Bolivia
Year: 2017
Language: Spanish
Subtitle: English
Runtime: 66 min.
Format: DCP
Color: Colour
Director: Karen Vázquez Guadarrama, Bart Goossens
Producer: Tomas Leyers
Cinematographer: Karen Vázquez Guadarrama
Editor: Tom Denoyette
Music: Bram Bosteels
Sound: Bart Goossens
Script: Karen Vázquez Guadarrama, Bart Goossens

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig 2018 catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author's name. All articles where no author’s name is given are production notes.