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1 for 1
Lessons for Zafirah
The Colour of Olives
1 PARA 1 1 FOR 1

1 para 1, la comedia fílmica del individualismo nacional

El individualismo se exacerba en tiempos de crisis: Carolina Rivas

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Corrupción y humor verdaderos


The film has a dark atmosphere, with a flawless soundtrack, the photography is excellent, the vision of its creators is definitely original and daring; a film for those demanding well made art films.

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Cámara de Diputados, México


Desgarradora y esperanzadora: Función emotiva de “Lecciones para Zafirah”

World Association for Christian Communication
Philip Lee, WACC Deputy Director Programmes

Lessons for Zafirah is a powerful film, whose lessons are for all of us and whose spirit of hope comes to dominate its bleakness.


México Presente en Festival de Cine
Taipei 2008

REC, La novia errante, Malos hábitos y El color de los olivos se contaron entre los filmes con mayor afluencia de público. El color de los olivos atrajo a un público más comprometido política e ideológicamente con su denuncia documental del acoso del ejército israelí a una familia palestina, aislada de la comunidad de Masha por el muro edificado por los israelíes.

Jeannette Catsoulis

With its contemplative tone and haunting images, The Color of Olives may be the most peaceful documentary ever to arrive from a war zone. The Color of Olives is a film about forbearance and isolation and near-mystical connection to the land. Using only natural light, Ms. Rivas and Mr. Sarhandi frame everything with an artistry that belies the difficulty of their working conditions, creating a film as unhurried and dignified as the Amer family itself

Leer texto completo (en inglés/in English).

Claudia Lindner

The sober report and the total lack of emotions has a stronger effect on the audience than any emotional appeal, crying and praying for the help of God could. Because it doesn't give any viewer the chance to disqualify the protagonists as some hateful screaming Arab fanatics known from the news media. Instead, the prevailing reaction on the side of the audience may be helplessness and the idea that there is something terribly wrong about this situation. In the end, Carolina Rivas doesn't give the audience a solution, a happy or at least hopeful ending in her film, no catharsis. There is not even a closing comment after the camara accompanied the family for 8 days.

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(en inglés/in English).

Prairie Miller

What is the sound of things growing, and for that matter, being crushed? That sound can be no sound at all. Mexican director Carolina Rivas' The Color of Olives is, in this sense, a different kind of silent film. But with minimal dialogue and spare text, this documentary about the inhumane plight of one West Bank Palestinian family has conversely an enormous amount to say express about the often muted, scarring moment-by-moment experience of oppression.

Jay Carr

Rivas' resolutely unsensationalistic approach plays no small part in making our hearts go out to the Amers in this film that reminds us of the eloquence of understatement.

Joe Leydon

Through slow accumulation of workaday details, The Color of Olives offers a sympathetic portrait of a Palestinian family that stoically survives while virtually imprisoned in their own home by Israeli barricades on the West Bank.


Visually intriguing, elliptical documentary about a Palestinian family living in the West Bank gets points for its artful approach.

R. Emmet Sweeney

Rivas's compositions are undeniably sharp.

Debra White-Stanley

The rare use of the human voice allows the filmmakers the freedom to combine images through rhythmic and graphic editing that challenges the viewer to make connections.

Review of the Melbourne Palestine Film Festival, 2007
Dmetri Kaski

Watching this multi-award-winning film put me in mind of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot. Both the play and this film share the same sense of helplessness and despondency that arises from being made to wait and to watch for something that may or may not come. The Colour of Olives is a brave, contemplative, oddly dignified study in frustration and isolation, certainly a highlight of the weekend.


The film is inspirational not just for the story it tells but also because it is clearly made on a small budget with low end equipment and a small crew, yet it effectively manages to extract and retell a story of bravery and persistence while addressing the larger issue of state sponsored oppression.

Desde en el silencio de los muros


Guerrillera y poeta del cine

El cineasta ruso Andrei Tarkovski sostuvo siempre que en el cine sólo existen dos tipos de directores: los que imitan al mundo en que viven y los que crean su propio mundo. A estos últimos los denominó poetas del cine. Así es como puede definirse a Carolina Rivas, la nueva promesa del cine mexicano que, con su tesis fílmica se hizo de premios, de fans como el cineasta Benjamín Cann y una comentada disputa con el gobierno de Vicente Fox. Y aunque a esta autoproclamada ‘guerrillera del cine’ el futuro le promete muchos más éxitos, ella prefiere no pensar mucho en eso, tal vez porque como dice su admirado Tarkovski: “El pensamiento es efímero; la imagen, absoluta”.

Thoughts from a "Guerrilla" Filmmaker

It is not everyday that you can almost make a successful international filmmaker cry and feel good about it. But, then again, most filmmakers are not Carolina Rivas. We first met this Mexico City native on the last day of the 2003 Toronto aluCine Film Festival at UofT’s Innis Townhall. AluCine is less known than some of the other Toronto Latino film festivals, but has a highly creative and original mix of local and international feature, experimental and documentary films, where Carolina had just received the award for the best film.

Finlandia, 2004
Report of the International Jury

A metaphor about solitude, a society without solidarity that perhaps is losing the will to live. A character is driven by the need to save his son but is held back both by his physical burden
and his own humility. This film is both powerful and touching with a rhythm and sense of cinematic revelation that is a credit to the filmmaker.

12 de mayo del 2003
Jorge Ayala Blanco
Cinelunes Exquisito

IV. LA FIEBRE ARIDA. Zona Cero (2003), intensa tesis académica en 27 minutos de la cuequense Carolina Rivas, se basa en el cuento No oyes ladrar los perros de Juan Rulfo.

Fiebre Árida de la variación más dura, lacónica y seca existente y acaso posible de un tema rulfiano, con nulos reproches del padre al hijo asesino ni pérdida de esperanza, exacto a partir del relato de El llano en llamas más que aberrantemente se encargaron de folclorizar Fuentes y el francés Reichenbach durante el echeverrismo. (¿No oyes ladrar a los perros? 74)

Fiebre trágica que se lee más en los rostros en big close-up avanzando hacia ninguna parte, ausentes a sí mismos al igual que el sol reventando en las alturas, las ramas de los árboles difuminándose en un trazado bidimensional más abstracto japonés tradicional que impresionista
y una multitud compacta dentro del sanatorio oponiéndose al paso de la cámara que avanzaba muy cerrada hasta el vértigo simbólico de La fórmula secreta (Gámez 65).

Fiebre irremisible de la desesperación sorda y cruel que azota la infértil frente paterna contra una roca del arroyo, para que sólo sobrevivan a su sobrehumana aventura desventurada, casi inertes, los zapatos polvorientos, los inanimados pies desechos, un caracol oteando el horizonte cercado por una mano y los cuerpos del padre y el hijo derrumbados sobre la ribera "en presencia de nadie" (Burns).

Fiebre sonora con ausencia de música como tal, su banda reducida a puntuaciones malvadas de José Navarro y Guillermo Portillo, meros efectos de percusión y flauta. Fiebre corporal del ejercicio físico hasta extremo absurdo para nada ("¿Qué le hizo creer que estaba vivo?" rubrica una voz off).

Fiebre plástica de la gravedad obstinada un mundo en ruinas y el universo postarkovskiano disolviéndose en el páramo sin piedras, la triste gloria inhumana de muros leprosos que remarcan menos el reverso del lirismo que el heideggeriano ser-para-la-muerte.

19 de abril del 2008

12 de abril del 2008