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The Witness (Sydney Latin American Film Festival)

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In September of 1978, a 12-year-old boy named Juan Perez goes out onto his farm with his horse and witnesses something that would scar him for the next 40 years. He sees a UFO, climbs onto the ship and gets up close and personal with the beings that are living in the ship. During this time, he ends up seeing his grandfather whom he was incredibly close to.

Now, 40 years later, Juan lives a sheltered life and understandably, is haunted by what happened. Documentarian Alan Stilvelman visits Juan, along with astrophysicist Jacques Vallée, and ayahuasca proponent Nestor Berlanda, finally getting to the truth behind what he saw on that fateful day.

The Witness (aka Witness of Another World) is a brilliant piece of cinema that plays out like a mystery as to what actually happened on that day in 1978. The filmmaker’s use of close ups allows the audience to empathise with Juan, virtually forced into crying as we see this man unravel.

 This Argentinian film presented as part of Pachamama Festival 2018, gives audiences a portal into an exotic world through a man, with a significant trauma in his life, figuring out the meaning behind it so he can try the best to move on and enjoy the rest of his life.