La Eterna Noche de las Doce Lunas / The Eternal Night of Twelve Moons (Generation Kplus)
Colombia 2013, 87 min
Languages: Spanish, Wayuunaiki
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Director: Priscila Padilla
“Everyone has their traditions…”
A storm approaches on the Guajira peninsula in northern Colombia. The children of the rain gather twigs for protection.
Aapushana, Epieyu, Iguana, Jayaliyuu, Jusayuu, Pausayuu, Sapuana, Tijuana, Uliana, Uliyuu, Uraliyuu, Ulewana, Walepushana, Walapuana. The clans refer to themselves simply as Wayuu (people). Other indigenous people are Kusina (Indian). Europeans and outsiders are Alijuna (the civilized).
Perched in a tree, a Wayuu girl tells a tale of Pulowi, “told by my aunt in a dream.”
The origin of the clans of Wayuu in the marriage of Pulowi, she of the toothed vagina, and Juya the hunter.
Wayuu women are expected to be mature and full of wisdom. They are the weavers, the shamans, the politicians. Their path is hard. As soon they begin menstruating, Wayuu girls submit to a period of seclusion for up to two years in a simple hut where only a few women are allowed to visit them. Pili is 12 years old when, for her grandmother’s sake, she decides to follow this custom. For the first few days Pili lies motionless, shrouded in her hammock. She emerges to take Jaguapi (an herbal preparation) and for ritual washing.
Over the next months, Pili continues her studies in mathematics, the Wayuunaiki language and Spanish, with visits from a tutor. She also learns to weave, a practice that becomes her closest companion over the twelve moons of her seclusion.
An old man comes to bargain for Pili, as a bride for one of his nephews. Upon discussion, Pili and her family politely refuse, as Pili wants to continue her studies, attend university and become a career woman.
In the Q&A, the audience of young Berliners meets a lovely girl in a beautiful gown and headdress, with great poise. Pili answers their questions in a clear strong voice, direct, confident but modest.
“Everyone has their traditions.”