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Chapter 6. “The Loot. The dead bird flies high”, a metaphor for my death and resurrection. I, PET...

The first cast of "El Botín, Ave Muerta Vuela Alto". From right to left Camilo Hernández, Hugo N. Santander, Sandra Barreiro and Diana Barragán. Photo by Mauro Klavijo.

When I was eight, I innocently threw myself out of a moving truck onto an unpaved road on the outskirts of Bucaramanga; I felt that time was frozen in a serene and contemplative state; growing pain brought me back to the passage of time.

Today I know I had a seizure and was unconscious for over an hour.

23 years later, on the outskirts of Manchester, my dreams relived what had happened and I reached a zone of continued ecstasy where a voice asked me if I wanted to help humanity or immerse myself in greater delights.

I felt compassion and came back, my ears bleeding, to the scene where a distraught driver was driving me home.

I noticed that my first cry was before my mother arrived, which took my mind off what everyone was already assuming: my death.

I particularly remember a sibyl I met in France in the summer of 2004. She was so popular that those who accessed her services had to pay her an annual fee for the right to get two consultations per month.

A distant relative told me he still had a free consultation that month and was willing to give it to me, given my interest in the subject.

“François Mitterrand was one of his clients,” he told me.

He took me in his car to a Victorian mansion covered in beautiful vines and surrounded by flowers. On entering, I discovered, on an atrium, a manuscript of Origen in ancient Greek.

It must have cost her a fortune, I thought, wondering if she knew dead languages. So I wrote a poem about our meeting:


We got lost on the eastern side of Rome

When a distant relative call us to a blooming house

This is the Sybil of Cumas, he said

Who sees through your secrets and your past

We waited in a narrow room of dried-up lilacs

Where a volume of Origenes was laid

On the rise and fall of angels in Caná

And it was written in the language of the dead

She read our lines, according to the orbs

Past lovers, enemies and cities

Filtered her mind like flakes of snow

Denying the joy of our home

But then her dark countenance was pale

You were sent back from the columns of the dead,

She said, to suffer betrayal and deceit

To tell us all about afterlife’s joys

These verses are an interpretation not only of spoken language, but also of thought and facial language.

Often, when I unmask a lie, the target person takes refuge in "I didn't say that".

I reply, "but he thought it, because I see it reflected in his face".

The palmist described what she saw of her roots in this world: "A black hole, scary." What is light to an enlightened person is darkness to a dark soul.

For decades I hid these events, unaware of the reality prescribed by normativity.

In India, I understood that art, however, arises from normativity and is enriched with possibilities which, through the negative, are lucid and coherent; theology, metaphysics, ontology, comparative religions, mysticism, psychology, history and other sciences complete the inspiration of these scenes.

The ideas that the protagonists of this work embody -apparently antagonistic-, on immortality, religions, justice, forgiveness and the destiny of Being, are confronted with a character who claims to be dead and resurrected.

Metaphysical comedy inspired by the American noir novel and the argumentative comedies of George Bernard Shaw, "El Botín, Ave Muerta Vuela Alto", represents the efforts of Lola and Guillermo to obtain a million dollars after long years of hypocrisy, intrigues and infidelities.

The clash of antagonistic visions of the world questions the prejudices and beliefs that our generation weaves around death.

Evoking the plot of "The Postman Rings Twice", Lola persuades Guillermo, an ex-mercenary, to assassinate her husband, Samuel, in order to inherit his estate.

The play begins 6 months after Samuel's murder, when Lola and Guillermo, fearing discovery, agree to receive a million dollars from Samuel's mother, Doña Norma, a sum of questionable origin to be delivered to a desolate place. , protected from the law. , in exchange for Lola's rights to inherit Samuel's estate, the "Ivy Heart" finca.

The sudden appearance of Samuel, who claims to have resurrected to persuade his mother not to commit a crime, drives Lola and Guillermo into terror bordering on madness.

Their conflict becomes metaphysical, shaking up old prejudices about profit and revenge.

HUGO. - The phrase "dead bird flies high" alludes to a vision I had in Thebes while reading "The Book of the Dead", an Egyptian religious text that prefigures the 10 commandments of the Old Testament in the history of religions.

Three of his characters risk everything for a sum of money; the intensity of their hatred contrasts with the seemingly prophetic tone of the risen Samuel.

The clash of antagonistic visions of the world questions the prejudices and beliefs that our generation weaves around death:

Is it possible to resuscitate?

And if that happened, as in "El Botín", how would humanity react?

How to reconcile the dogmas of different religions, from reincarnation to redemption, from revenge to punishment or forgiveness?

The complexities, beliefs and contradictions of the characters of "El Botín" show the power and ambition that society itself cultivates.

The title of "El Botín, Ave Muerta Vuela Alto" was also inspired by an urban mural in Palermo that depicted a dead bird.

The expression:


For the ancient Egyptians, the soul turned into a bird after the death of the body. Diagram from the EGYPTIAN BOOK OF THE DEAD (London: Penguin, 2008)

It has established itself as an expression of condolence, a poetic and hopeful way of facing death.

El Botín is a mixture of genres and styles, with interpretations that will vary according to the concerns of the viewer: thriller for a Black Novel filmmaker, metaphysical discussion for a theologian, religious farce for an agnostic.

I personified the character of Samuel, the risen.

The passion for the feelings and the stories of the beings that I have met over the days is the source of my passion for the theater. Someone recently told me:

‘Do you do theatre? Don't you know that when actors give up being themselves, they stop living their thing?

To which I replied: 'On the contrary, the actor never ceases to be himself, only now he is a being who lives intensely, literally in his skin, the emotions that the playwright and the director of the room recreate, synthesize and transmit. an act of communion with the viewer.'

The theatre, and sometimes the cinema, is the space in which the whole public lives, for a few precious and brief moments, in the world of truth, that is to say in the Kingdom of Heaven.

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