Nos Vemos Pronto

NOS VEMOS PRONTO

Risking their lives along a network of dangerous Colombian highways to confronting the wounds of leaving home through poetry, Nos Vemos Pronto traverses the diverse experiences of the current Venezuelan refugee crisis in Colombia.

Nos Vemos Pronto is NOW AVAILABLE here.

Learn more about the development process and behind the scenes here.

INFO

Documentary short / 25 mins / 2022

Director: Andrew Kirschenbaum

DP: Andrew Kirschenbaum

Colorist/Editor: Andrew Kirschenbaum

Filmed on location throughout Colombia.

FESTIVALS & AWARDS

New Haven Documentary Film Festival (September 2022)

Yale University Latino & Iberian Film Festival (November 2022)

Norwalk Film Festival (February 2023)

Cornell University Screening + Q&A (March 2023)

Fordham University Screening + Q&A (March 2023)

Latino & Native American Film Festival 2023 (Best Social/Political Film Award Recipient) 

Izmir International Refugee Film Festival - Turkey (October 2023)

Philadelphia Latino Film Festival (October 2023)

Bridgeport Film Fest (Best International Film Recipient)

Immigration Film Fest (October 2023)

UPCOMING WNY Refugee Film Festival (TBD 2024)

UPCOMING Embassy Film Festival - Australia (November 2024)

PRESS

New Haven Register article - September 24th, 2022

Hartford Courant article - October 10th, 2022

The Inquisitive Individual Podcast - November 7th, 2022

El Semanario article - January 25th, 2024

REVIEWS

"Andrew Kirschenbaum’s Nos vemos pronto is a humble documentary. There is no grand narrative attempting to capture the complexity of Venezuela’s migration crisis; there is no “impartial observer” claiming to explain, once and for all, the many factors that have led to seven million people choosing to leave everything behind in search for a better life; there is no attempt to give voice to each and every one of those seven million people. And because of that, because of its humility, it is extremely powerful.

 In 25 minutes, it does what the media—with its explicit shots of death, loss, and tragedy—cannot and could never do: it lingers on the small gestures and the everyday stories that define not only the pain the caminantes endure as they go through the trochas and find ways to make a living on the other side, but also their courage, their determination, their resilience, and the hope they defiantly refuse to lose. A friendly smile, a hand massaging a sore foot, a moment shared eating the same sandwich, laughter interrupting and soothing a heartbreaking conversation, the sound of a harp and a cuatro, the wish that every interviewee has—that no one, ever, goes through the same thing they did; that no one, ever, finds themselves alone, hungry, and unwanted. Kirschenbaum draws our eyes toward those gestures, and, in them, we discover that vulnerability can mean suffering, and destruction, and xenophobia, but it can also mean rediscovering what has always been true: that we are in each other’s hands, and that sometimes what the tired body that walks barefoot chasing after hopes of a vida digna needs is just a gesto de cariño. Nos vemos pronto is that: a much-needed gesture of affection toward those who currently carry Venezuela on their backs, who dream every night of going home and who, even in the worst of circumstances, find the strength to sing and to fall in love."

Irina Raquel Troconis Gonzalez, Professor of Latin American Studies at Cornell University

"In 25 minutes, Nos Vemos Pronto does what hours and hours of news reports and white papers cannot: it shows us the lives that make up the mass migration of Venezuelans into neighboring countries. By focusing mostly on the mountain roads of one state in Colombia, Andrew Kirschenbaum weaves painful portraits of loss, hope and tired feet into a single narrative depicting the wide diversity of los caminantes. The spectacular landscape is an analogy for both the hardship and wide-open possibilities of these adventurers, and to hear their words and see their faces on the mountainsides is to be reminded of that most human of behaviors--migration in pursuit of a better life."

- Andrew Rasmussen, PhD Director of Culture, Migration, and Community at Fordham University

SYNOPSIS

Filmed in various locations throughout Colombia, from the Venezeulan border to the capital city of Bogotá, Nos Vemos Pronto chronicles the stages of Venezuelan immigration through direct accounts from refugees. Narrated by the poetry of Johanna, a Venezuelan immigrant who left seeking better opportunities, we get a glimpse into the tribulations and challenges one faces leaving their home country as an immigrant and refugee.

Nos Vemos Pronto shifts between various phases of the immigration experience through first-hand conversations. These include interviews with Venezuelan refugees walking to countries as far as Peru and Argentina to escape unlivable circumstances, a conversation with a former walker who has now a support point along a frequented route with food and a medical tent to help others, and an artisan weaving purses out of the devalued, nearly worthless Venezuelan currency in Bogotá.

Nos Vemos Pronto is impossible to watch without grappling with our own humanity and realizing the dire conditions of the current Venezuelan diaspora. Nonetheless, Nos Vemos Pronto also provides a message of hope, offers untold perspectives, and reveals nuanced and universal dimensions of immigration.

ABOUT THE FILM

Nos Vemos Pronto – a documentary shot over the course of a month at the end of 2021 – takes a journey through the disparate landscapes of Colombia's countryside and cities while also traveling the emotional territories of Venezuelan refugees in Colombia.

I first met one of the main characters, Johanna, while traveling in Bogotá and immediately developed a friendship and connection. From there, we discussed her personal journey from Venezuela 7 years ago and the poems she had written depicting the emotions of each year away from home. There was no plan for a film at this point but Nos Vemos Pronto was to be born in the coming weeks.

A few weeks later, when I began to volunteer with an NGO based in Pamplona, Colombia, I encountered for the first time the stories of Venezuelan refugees walking from Venezuela. The NGO operates a Venezuelan refugee shelter, facilitates mobile aid along the highways of Norte de Santander, and offers support for an aid tent. While actively participating in these duties with other international volunteers, I began shooting interviews and various elements that would end up being the backbone of the film. This is also where Ronald, the founder of Hermanos Caminantes and a former walker himself, has set up his support point that administers food, resources, and medical aid. Ronald opens up in an intimate interview in the film that illustrates the deep struggle he is still coping with from his lived experience leaving his family and town in Venezuela for a better life.

Among many other heartbreaking and personal moments, the visual elements of Nos Vemos Pronto also demonstrate the striking and often breathtaking backdrop of this unprecedented humanitarian crisis. A large portion of the film is set amongst the dense and illustrious mountains of Norte de Santander, the contrast between the enchanting Colombian topography and the desperation of the Venezuelan refugees being inescapable. The audience is also transported to the sprawling and urban jungle of Bogotá, each of these settings developing a subtext of how spaces and environments play a role in the migrant experience.

During my time in Colombia I was moved by this stark juxtaposition and the devastating stories I heard first-hand from Venezuelan refugees about their journeys. As I spent more time talking with Venezuelan walkers, often as I gave them foot massages and bandaged cuts, blisters and injuries at the aid tent, I began to think back to what Johanna and I had discussed about her experience. The foundation for Nos Vemos Pronto started to take shape and the film began to develop before my eyes.

THE APPROACH

The shooting process was both planned and spontaneous, capturing unplanned interviews with Venezuelan walkers on the side of the highway while deploying a more deliberate technique for when Johanna reads her poem. This mixed approach offered me a chance to capture more instinctive frames that lend themselves to the “on the street” nature of the film while also integrating more intentional shots via the sit-down interviews and poetic narration. Nos Vemos Pronto attempts to dance between formal and informal documentary styles -- imitating and mirroring the characters, landscapes and themes that are constantly evolving throughout the film.

Check out more information on the approach and behind the scenes here.

80+ people at the film premiere in New Haven, CT.

A mother and young child walk toward Medellín. 


"Migrar no es fácil, pero tampoco imposible."

Using Format