Tito Lombana: life beyond the sculptor

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The smiling Lombana, the documentary that portrays the artist's life of the sculpture "The old shoes" of Cartagena, will be on theaters January 17 in Colombia

Tito Lombana: life beyond the sculptor

The story of a nice man, who is a promising sculptor in Colombia, the story of a granddaughter, the director of the documentary, who did not know her grandfather well, but who she has heard about -even if her family tried to hide the story -. The portrait of a man capable of setting aside his talent for ambition, a man of sustained but mysterious laughter, a Casanova and a family man, are just a few strokes of The smiling Lombana , a documentary by Daniela Abad, who reconstructs the forgotten story of Tito Lombana, his grandfather, an enigmatic and popular character from whom little was known.

Leer en español: Tito Lombana: la vida más allá del escultor

Using a film file in 8 and 16 millimeters, recorded by Abad's grandmother and photographs, documents, and interviews with family and friends of Lombana, the director manage to form a consolidated structure where according to her statements at a press conference "The theme Central to the film is identity. "

Accompanied by an exceptional musicalization, Abad tells the whole life of this sculptor, his humble family,  and how thanks for his talent he managed to leave the country heading to Italy and shape his quirky, friendly and purified personality. That idiosyncrasy, so difficult to define by many, not only distanced him from his family, who tried to keep his memory hidden. "It was difficult to have access to that information, so it was difficult to decipher that controversial story, beginning by convincing my family to help me tell it. At first, they opposed the idea of making the film. But in the end, it was achieved, "said Abad in an interview for El País newspaper in Cali.

Another aspect that Lombana moved from, and that perhaps was part of his essence, was art, where he was respected for his talent because it was "the result of that energy that we already highlighted, of that disposition to choose beauty, of the impetus, strangely paired with restraint and with grace, "writer Héctor Rojas Herazo wrote in a cultural bulletin of the library of Luis Ángel Arango regarding an individual exhibition consisting of six engraved works where the theme was marine animals .

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Rare business

That ability to mold marble, or any other material available to Lombana, would be relegated by ambition. Bad friendships and apparently their business with personalities linked to the incipient drug trafficking of the 50s and 60s, when according to the Country of Spain, "the story of violence and terror had not yet begun to be written in this country," not only They diverted their talent, they also made him one of the first Colombians to be captured for this crime in the United States, a country where they called him "The Smiling Lombana".

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Thus, and thanks to complex situations, investigations, and theories that begin to take shape around this chameleonic man, who moves between a sophisticated but obscure life, it is possible to induce the spectator in his desire to want to know more, while immersing himself in a story that looks like a bottomless pit.

In this way, the documentary acquires a particular tinge of a crime novel that is not more than the result of more than two years of work, and of the search for an answer to a question based on the life of a family that the director did not know , but whose beauty and taboo turn out to be the engine of a film piece that is promising. The film will be shown in Colombian cinemas on January 17 and it is expected that the documentary will be presented at different International Festivals.

LatinAmerican Post | Maria Alejandra Gomez

Translated from: 'Tito Lombana: la vida más allá del escultor'

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