Colombian Novel ‘The Sound of Things Falling’ Gets Film Adaptation

As we kick off 2023 we get to celebrate representation in the film adaptation of a novel written by a Colombian writer

Sound of Things Falling film

Photo: Penguin Random House/Rodrigo Fernández

As we kick off 2023 we get to celebrate representation in the film adaptation of a novel written by a Colombian writer. We’re excitedly looking forward to the film adaptations of Erika L. Sanchez’s I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter directed by America Ferrera and Laura Namey’s A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow. Now joining the line-up is the best-selling 2014 novel The Sound of Things Falling by Colombian writer, journalist, and translator Juan Gabriel Vásquez, which was just acquired for film by Alibi Media. Roberto Bentivegna (House of Gucci) is attached to write the script and direct, with Alibi founder and CEO Cristina Palacio (MasterChefSurvivor, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?) producing, according to Deadline

“I’m thrilled to have this novel adapted to the screen by Roberto Bentivegna, whose work I admire, and produced by the wonderful Cristina Palacio,” said Vásquez. “The book couldn’t be in better hands.”

The book is set during the era of infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar and follows law professor Antonio Yammara after he is hurt in a shoot-out and witnesses the murder of his friend and former pilot Ricardo Laverde. Over the course of the story, he tries to discover the truth about his friend and the events that led up to his death, only to find himself pulled into the corruption, violence, and terror of the Colombian drug trade. Before and after its publication, the book won the Alfaguara Prize, one of the most prestigious Spanish-language book awards. It also appeared on The New York Times best-seller list and has been translated into 30 languages in over 50 countries. To this day, it’s considered one of the most important Latin American novels of the 21st century. With its complexity, nuance, and love for its setting, it’s a great win for Colombia, Latin America, and the Latinx community that such an important story will be shown to audiences around the world.

“When Cristina brought The Sound Of Things Falling to my attention last year, I was immediately captivated by it,” said screenwriter and director Bentivegna. “There have been several books, films and TV shows that attempt to tell the dark past of Colombian’s drug trade. Few, in my opinion, do so as poetically and evocatively as Juan Gabriel Vasquez’s masterpiece. It is a story about people, first and foremost – and a wonderful opportunity to depict a ‘Latin Noir’ in the vein of the ’70s existential thrillers I love.”

The author set out to show “how the drug trade affects somebody not involved in it; somebody who – like me – has never seen a gram of coke in his life,” Vásquez previously told the Guardian. “Halfway through the novel, I realized I was doing something which hadn’t been done before,” he said. “We had all grown up used to the public side of the drug wars, to the images and killings … but there wasn’t a place to go to think about the private side, and I realized this is what I was doing.”

No casting decisions or release date have been announced yet but we’re all excited about what will be an important and beautiful Latinx film.

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