Hands of earth, crystal eyes, ancestral bridge. Immortal humble wise noble warrior. BELEN a cocoa farmer and musician from a small Afro-Venezuelan village that, unaware of her powers, becomes main inspiration for her community and for people all over the American continent (during her life, and after her death as a spiritual being). Queen of the Quitipla. Master of bamboo’s sounds and silences. Core and bridge to the African American community, to its connected beats and historical fights.
A trip into the puzzled reminiscences of this woman’s life (and death), captured through more than 100 hours of amateur found footage and expressed through the mirrored gestures of multiple points of view. An unusual musical portrait filled with personal and collective resonant rituals; a path to understand the power of music and modest authentic actions, for social transformation.
“The impossible portrait of a woman indifferent to her own extraordinariness becomes a collective venture between many friends and relatives of Belén María Palacios, La Reina del Quitiplá. The mixing gives their words a polyvocal aspect. The sound of the quitiplá, a rudimentary and little known instrument from Venezuela, preserves the efficiency and virtuosity of her performance. By unveiling the tricks of the shooting, by exposing the multiplicity of its sources, the film sheds light on its protagonist while sharing a collective tribute”.
Gilles Grand (Fid Marseille)