DOK Leipzig Film Festival

Homo Botanicus

Homo Botanicus

A professor and his master student set out to explore the untouched tropical Andes Mountains. The eminent botanist Julio Betancur has already collected more than 19,000 species of plants and archived them in a giant herbarium in Bogotá that he keeps expanding, assisted at the moment by his young follower Cristian. The director, Guillermo Quintero, was a student of Betancur more than fifteen years ago before he studied philosophy in Paris and later turned to filmmaking. He still feels respect for his former mentor today, and fascination for the seemingly anachronistic and romantic scientist’s view of the rich flora. The filmmaker follows the unusual pair, commenting events from offscreen as an outside observer. We detect admiration for their passion, but also doubt about their meticulous collecting. Is this kind of classification of nature still in keeping with the times?

In his debut film Quintero allows himself to be pulled into the eddying timelessness of the tropical forest. Varied and artful shots of the fauna show a surprisingly different and mystic view of Colombia, communicating the image of a country with a budding film industry whose authors devote themselves predominantly to political or personal conflicts.

Annina Wettstein
Original Title: Homo Botanicus
Country: Colombia, France
Year: 2018
Language: Spanish
Subtitle: English
Runtime: 88 min.
Format: DCP
Color: Colour
Director: Guillermo Quintero
Producer: Nicolás Van Hemelryck, Clare Weiskopf, Pierre-Emmanuel Urcun, Guillermo Quintero
Cinematographer: Guillermo Quintero
Editor: Julie Borvon, Guillermo Quintero
Music: Violeta Cruz
Sound: Marc-Olivier Brullé
Script: Guillermo Quintero

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.