Río Sonoro is a journey along the Río Magdalena, in search of the sounds of the river. Guided by musician Simón Mejía, from Bomba Estéreo, and told through musical encounters, we get to know characters and stories from the river itself; finding out what it takes to make a living near the water and the way in which they -and their music- interact with the river, at times in an organic and fertile manner, and others in crude and ruthless ways. We also discover the reality of critical environmental problems. The struggles and resistance for the defense of water become more and more present. The imminent threat of contaminated water due to mining, cattle ranching, mismanagement and state policies, create an uninspiring portrait, and take the film in new directions.
(Co-directors Simón Hernandez and Simon Mejía) The Magdalena river is a symbol of Colombia ́s past, present and future. Water in this river, and according to ancient indigenous cultures as well, has been historically an element of life and death at the same time. Huaca Hayo (river of the sacred tombs) was the original name that indigenous communities of the south of the country gave to the Magdalena River. A river that was the main communication path for the Spanish conquest in the search of the Dorado Legend and a river that has witnessed all the corpses of the violence of Colombia ́s social and political struggles throughout history. Río Sonoro is a journey through the Depresión Momposina area of the Magdalena river in the quest of the origin of Cumbia along with Simón Mejía from the internationally renowned band Bomba Estéreo. Cumbia is a folk musical genre that was born centuries ago in Colombia and spread during the 60 ́s all over Latin America. Legend says it was created somewhere along this massive river. Through this journey, aboard a musical boat, we will discover the local musicians, their day to day survival stories around the basins and the sad reality of a river in constant environmental struggles. Artists like Matilde Camacho (singer displaced by violence), Aurelio Fernández (flute player), Ángel María Villafañe (singer and mask designer), Abundio (singer and music teacher) and Rafael Mora (singer and witch doctor) will accompany Simón in this journey. The struggles for the defense of water become ever more present. The imminent threat of death along the river due to pollution, illegal mining, cattle ranching and bad state policies will create an uninspiring portrait, making the musical journey take a new direction.