Jose-Luis Rugeles sat down with NYIHA MEDIA to discuss his new Award-Winning Film

2 min readMay 1, 2024

REBELIÓN (translation REBELLION) premiered at the 24th Havana Film Festival NY. The Colombian film won an award in the Best Actor category based on the performance of Actor JhonNarvaez in his role as Joe Arroyo. This is an intimate portrait of the life of Colombian singer-songwriter Joe Arroyo, which dives deep into his passions, genius and excesses.

Colombia-Argentina-US / Fiction / 2022 / 105 minutes

Dr. Steeve Coupeau: What is the development origin of your film?

Jose-Luis Rugeles: Rebelión was born in a night of music in which Joe Arroyo’s biographer told me that I should make a film about him, and so it was.

Director Jose-Luis Rugeles

Jose-Luis Rugeles: It’s Joe Arroyo’s scream made music. This music is largely danced by white people. The creative act from which Arroyo’s genius emerges is as destructive as it is liberating.

Dr. Steeve Coupeau: From Joe Arroyo’s perspective, what is the role of music in the promotion of peace and social justice?

Jose-Luis Rugeles: Music connects people deeply. It brings to life films like “Rebellion” and geniuses like Joe Arroyo, who made an entire continent dance and sing with feeling. Through his lyrics, Joe spoke beautifully about the pains and injustices suffered by his people. Singing “Rebelión” in front of the kings of Spain is a demonstration of the power and dignity of music which can also be a tool to build peace.

Dr. Steeve Coupeau: There is a biography of Joe Arroyo called “Who killed Joe Arroyo? Did the book influence the way you conceived the film?

Jose-Luis Rugeles: Partly yes. At first it was research material. Later, the film found its own voice. A film review stated that “Rebellion” was more than a biopic. It is an anti-biopic, a definition with which I agree.

Dr. Steeve Coupeau: What key message you want US viewers to take away from this film?

I want US viewers to see and get to know this creative genius, to feel his tormented soul and how, from that darkness, he managed to create a luminous music that made half the world dance.

Now watch the trailer of Rebellion below:





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