Negret (26) said in an interview with AFP that he had wanted his drama “Hacia la oscuridad” or “Towards Darkness” released in US theaters on Friday, to focus on the human cost of kidnapping.For Negret, the movie was a deeply personal project — his family has twice been subjected to harrowing kidnap ordeals over the years.On the first occasion, two relatives were abducted by a kidnapping gang. Despite payment of a ransom, only one of the hostages was released.It was not until several months later that the second relative was freed. A second kidnapping ended in tragedy when the relative involved was murdered.”I did a lot of research about kidnappings about this even if I had personal experience of it,” Negret told AFP. “My aim was to show the human side of the kidnapping experience.”While many recent high-profile kidnappings in Colombia have been blamed on the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Negret steers clear of naming the group featured in his film.”I deliberately shied away from identifying the group behind the kidnappings in the movie. I wanted it to be more symbolic,” he says, noting that many kidnappings in Colombia are shrouded in uncertainty.”Quite often there is confusion about which group exactly is doing the kidnapping. My aim in making this film was to show the symptoms of nearly 40 years of violence in Colombia.”In that respect I wanted to show that there are so many groups — guerillas, paramilitaries, drug cartels etc — who are responsible. A lot of the time we don’t know who the bad guys are.”Negret’s film, shot in Panama over just 23 days for 500,000 dollars, looks at the impact and aftermath of a kidnapping from multiple perspectives — the hostage, the family and negotiatiors.Initially Negret had wanted to shoot the film, which features “Ugly Betty” star America Ferrera and Roberto Urbina in the lead roles, in Colombia, but the film-makers could not afford the insurance.Negret, who has not lived in Colombia for eight years, said that although kidnapping remains a problem, he was hopeful of peace one day returning to his homeland.”Colombia is a beautiful country with great culture, great people … I hope one day that peace will return,” he said.
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