Sympathy for the Devil can be understood as a reflection on space and its influence on the human social dimension. Using the iconic view of the Illimani (a prominent mountain in the Bolivian Andes) two synchronized screens narrate an anecdote from 1970s Bolivia. They each depict the daily encounter between a Polish jewish refugee who arrived in Bolivia during the Second World War and his upstairs neighbor, the former Nazi Klaus Barbie (who lived under an assumed identity) in a building in a well to-do neighborhood in the city of La Paz. Both men lived parallel lives as neighbors and as European immigrants in exile in Bolivia, mutually aware of each other’s presence in the building, meeting daily in the elevator. The cold landscape of La Paz serves as backdrop to highlight the contrast of the lives of these two men who left behind opposing destinies in Europe and shared a view in Bolivia. This simple interaction serves to highlight a recurring situation in Bolivia and Latin America at large in the postwar period when the region offered asylum to both persecuted Jews and Nazi Germans, antagonistic communities in Europe, which would coexist in relative lull in Latin America.
Two channel digital HD video; 4 minute excerpt of 8 minutes total running time; color; sound