4 user 48 critic

Land and Shade (2015)

La tierra y la sombra (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 23 July 2015 (Colombia)
1:50 | Trailer
After having left a long time ago, a humble country sugar cane worker returns home to meet his grandson and deal with the hardships his family has been put into.
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Cast overview:
Haimer Leal Haimer Leal ... Alfonso
Hilda Ruiz Hilda Ruiz ... Alicia
Edison Raigosa Edison Raigosa ... Geraldo
Marleyda Soto Marleyda Soto ... Esperanza
José Felipe Cárdenas José Felipe Cárdenas ... Manuel


Alfonso is an old farmer who has returned home to tend to his son, who is gravely ill. He rediscovers his old house, where the woman who was once his wife still lives, with his daughter-in-law and grandson. The landscape that awaits him resembles a wasteland. Vast sugar cane plantations surround the house, producing perpetual clouds of ash. 17 years after abandoning them, Alfonso tries to fit back in and save his family..

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Release Date:

23 July 2015 (Colombia) See more »

Also Known As:

Land and Shade See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Director César Acevedo states he planned to make a film about the sugar cane plantations due to him having been born and raised in Cali, Valle del Cauca, a province in Colombia where those plantations are the basis of economy. See more »

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User Reviews

Terrific images and acting, moving and close to greatness
24 January 2017 | by runamokprodsSee all my reviews

Beautifully shot, full of long contemplative takes, this story of the hardship of a family who work for a sugar-cane farm in rural Columbia has many powerful moments, and much righteous anger at what the large farm does both to the local ecology and to the underpaid (or NOT paid) workers. And it only grew on 2nd viewing when I went into it prepared for it's slow pace and understated and quiet emotionality.

An old man (Alonso) returns to his family after living as an outcast, to help care for his grandson while his wife and daughter in law struggle in the cane fields to make a living, and while his son lies deathly ill from the endless pollution from the burning fields. While the images and ideas are strong, and some of the performances shockingly good from Acevedo's cast of non-professionals, the basic family drama at the heart of the story can occasionally feel a little under-cooked. At times conflicts are easy to get ahead of.

When the film relies on images to tell the story – like the snowstorms of ash that envelope the family home and the characters – it's shockingly effective. When things are talked about at length, it's more hit or miss. There are wonderful human scenes and others that can feel a bit on the nose, a bit expositional. The strength and the mild weakness of the film was captured by the brilliant, several minute long opening shot. As Alonso walks down a gravel road towards us, a truck slowly bears down on him in the distance. When the truck actually passes, the old man is all buy lost in the cloud of gray dust it kicks up, It's a great image that tells a whole story at once. The problem is it's one of the best images in the film, and sums up all the themes to come so brilliantly, that in a weird way entire film that follows feels – thematically at the least - like an epilogue. That sounds far harsher than it could be taken. The film is full of worthwhile moments and characters that evolve. But if feels frustratingly close to greatness, without quite getting there.

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