Cuentos del Río
2019, Écosse, Luxembourg, 82′
The San Juan River located between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in Nicaragua, symbolises 500 years of colonisation and exploitation of resources and has seen over 70 canal projects fail. Now, a Chinese businessman wants to control the route that Columbus had already desperately been looking for when he reached the “New World”.
Actor and teacher Yemn returns to his native village El Castillo and turns the fortress ruins overlooking the river into a stage for the local youth theatre group, a sanctuary for open discussion and critical thinking. While their families struggle with poverty and obligation to migrate to wealthy neighbour Costa Rica in order to make ends meet, the kids rehearse a play about their river’s history.
The kids reflect upon essential questions: what is their identity? What can they learn from History? And at a time where freedom of speech has been repressed, where is the country going to?