‘Black Kisses,’ Exploring Love and the Devil, Gets Clip, Premieres at Tallinn, as Ventana Sur Follows (EXCLUSIVE)

Sales agent Begin Again Films has dropped a clip of “Black Kisses,” (“Besos negros,”), from Colombia’s Alejandro Naranjo and the director’s latest doc-feature, in the run-up to its world premiere on Nov. 19 at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.

Shared in exclusivity with Variety by Begin Again Films, the clip shows Edgar Kerval, one of the four main protagonists, cleansing themselves with a ceremony in a Colombian river.

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The film screens at Tallinn Black Nights, in the Rebels with a Cause competition, alongside 10 other features, all billed as independent films that challenge.  After leaving Tallinn, the film will be presented to market at Ventana Sur. Begin Again Films handles worldwide sales.

The doc tracks two complimentary stories around the themes of evil and love. It opens with the daughter of Gladys Rodríguez describing her mother’s possession by an evil spirit, one she wants exorcised. This Spirit has been with the mother for many years and is associated with the disputes had with her ex-husband. The man tasked with exorcism is Andrés Tirado, a former Catholic priest, and now Independent Catholic archbishop.

The second story is a burgeoning love story between Rick Nekro, a well known occultist in Columbia and his soon to be husband Edgar Kerval. They embrace the occult, making it an integral part of their life and aesthetic. Shot in black and white and carefully framed with a static camera, Naranjo’s style has far more in common with 1940s film noir than current fashions in documentary. Its subject matter and style combine to make a doc that is in many ways experimental, but never loses affection for its protagonists. It shows them in extremis, but is balanced with sweet, domestic moments, particularly the love between Rick and Edgar.

Director Naranjo’s background is in documentary, his debut “The Inflated Jungle”  meriting a special mention at the Munich Dok.fest in 2015. That film explored suicide within indigenous communities, connecting it to the mythic within its jungle surroundings. It  showed an experimental bent which is given greater freedom in “Black Kisses,” which is produced by Colombia’s Dirty Mac Docs (“La Selva Inflada”) and Spain’s Tourmalet Films (“Stockholm”) and Arte Calavera.

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