La Conquista de las Ruinas

La Conquista de las Ruinas

Conquest of the Ruins

dokfest munchen la conquista de las ruinas

Subtitles available: English, Spanish
Destroy to create. Conquest of the ruins links stories and situations that revolve around the exploitation of land for the construction of cities, the chaotic advance of the modern city, and the memory and preservation of archeological remains that survived the passage of time. Nothing remains the same, everything is transformed. The documentary exposes the dark side behind the urban expansion, and thus allows us to follow different pathways in the maze of the construction industry. It constitutes a mosaic of realities that is
simultaneously troubling yet emotional, and which aims at reflecting on the complexity of spaces and limits, both products of the city’s continuous expansion.
Paleontólogos. Trabajadores de canteras. Obras en construcción y barrios privados. La tierra los une y los separa a todos ellos, pero cada uno tiene una interpretación diferente sobre qué es este mundo y cómo debe ser habitado.

more information


  • BoliviaLab (Bolivia, 2019) 
  • Buenos Aires DocLab (Argentina, 2019) 
  • Doc Andino (Bolivia, 2019) 
  • ChileDoc (Chile, 2019) 
  • FIDBA (Argentina, 2019)  
  • Latin Side of the Doc (México, 2019) 


With the support of

  • Fondo Iberoamericano IBERMEDIA
  • Fondo Argentina INCAA
  • Fondo boliviano Intervenciones Urbanas

Festivals & Awards

  • Festival del Cinema Latino Americano di Trieste (Italy, 2020)
  • Semana de Cine Latinoamericano (Argentina, 2021)
  • Tucumán Cine – Festival de Cine Latinoamericano Gerardo Vallejo (Argentina, 2021) – winner Mejor Largometraje Latinoamericano
  • FENAVID (Bolivia, 2021) – winner Best Documentary Film
  • Arica Nativa Film Festival (Chile, 2020)
  • Festival de Cine Verde de Barichara (Colombia, 2021)
  • DOK.FEST München (Germany, 2021)
  • Marudai International Film Festival (India, 2020)
  • Cinema e Ambiente Avezzano (Italy, 2021) – winner Best Cinematography
  • Sole Luna Doc (Italy, 2021)
  • Ariano Film Festival (Italy, 2021)
  • Voce dei Boschi (Italy, 2021)
  • Festival della Lessiania (Italy, 2021)
  • Job Film Days (Italy, 2021) – winner Best Script
  • Firenze Archeofilm Festival (Italy, 2022)
  • Bannabá Fest (Panama, 2021)
  • Hanan Cine Festival (Peru, 2021)
  • Social and Economic Justice Film Festival (USA, 2021)

Press & Reviews

  • Página 12 by Juan Pablo Cinelli:  ‘Una mirada única y lúcida del mudo’ /  A unique and lucid view of the world
  • Pluralnoticias ‘Logra articular la literalidad de la destrucción de la materia prima para la construcción del producto final, con lo metafórico de los ciclos de la vida’. / ‘The film manages to articulate the sense of destruction for the construction of a final product with the circles of life’
  • by Mariana Zabaleta: Ningún relato se solapa, la experiencia de ver este documental es el de recorrer el espacio oculto y cotidiano que se da entre las cosas’. / ‘The stories never overlap. The experience of watching this documentary film traveling through the hidden and ordinary of the in-between.
  • Revista Caligari by Sebastián Francisco Maydana: ‘Un claroscuro auspicioso y actual’
  • La Nación by Alejandro Lingenti: ‘Un documental atípico y subyugante’. / Atypical documentary 
  • Visión del cine by Daniel Lighterman:La conquista de las ruinas es un potente documental que se nutre de la contemplación tanto como de los testimonios y que, con una belleza muy particular, logra articular la literalidad de la destrucción de la materia prima para la construcción del producto final, con lo metafórico de los ciclos de la vida’
  • Cineargentino Hoy by Florencia Fico: ‘documental reflexivo sobre el tratamiento a la tierra con un enfoque filosófico, científico y espiritual. Alimenta distintas formas para describir cómo se idea, sostiene, lucha o se lucra, negocia y se perjudica al medio ambiente’
  • El curso de cine: ‘Una película justa…que merece ser vista en sala’.
  • Ramona Cultural by Andrés Tapia: ‘Los hombres de barro frente a la modernidad’

Director’s Motivation

I was traveling by bus to the outsides of the city of Cochabamba looking for locations for some photographs, when at one of the stops three men covered by a layer of white ash got on board, giving them a gloomy, almost ghostly air. Some passengers seemed to ignore them, others looked at them with some contempt. I was impressed by the image they caused and decided to follow them to see where they worked, also hoping to chat with them.
Those men went to the limestone where some of them burned in furnaces the mineral and others bagged the lime that was cooled in the place. I was impressed to see that the workers carried out their work in a rudimentary way, without any protection, turning the limestone into the material that will serve to build the new buildings in the cities. At that moment I asked myself: Who are these workers? Where do they bring the stones that burn?
The documentary took shape as I immersed myself in those immense landscapes where the workers worked. The hills that are destroyed, the limestone that is dissolved by explosions and the life and death stories of these workers.
“The conquest of the ruins” can be understood as the intention to conquer the lost, the dead and the past. The realities of our protagonists, their activities, experiences and life aspirations are intertwined with the mark we leave on the world.
The documentary seeks to find the meaning that unites us as human beings. What is the reason for some to choose destruction as a way of life, why others are focused on preserving and others instead, isolate themselves to protect themselves from their peers.
All the portrayed characters have a particular relationship with the earth, whether to destroy it, preserve it, understand it or inhabit it.
I try to reflect on these issues, without judging, being a participant in the work that each person executes in their life and reflecting with them on these complexities that we live today, the similarities, differences and the chaos that we have created as a society in the search for find the “meaning” that unites us as human beings.

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film editor

Damián Tetelbaum

sound designer

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original music

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distribution & world sales

director's bio

Eduardo Gómez is a producer and scriptwriter from Bolivia, born in 1986. In 2007 he studied filmmaking in ‘La Fábrica, Escuela Internacional de Cine’. He has a degree in Social Communications. In 2014 he co-written and produced the documentary ‘Quinuera’ by Ariel Soto, winner in DocTV. ‘La Conquista de las Ruinas’ is his first documentary film which has participated in DocAndino, ChileDoc, Latin Side of the Doc, Cinescope, DocLab, BoliviaLab and others.