Tambien La Lluvia (Even the Rain), a new film featuring the 2004 Cochabamba Water War as both backdrop and major theme, has finally made it to theaters in Chicago. Here is a brief description from the distributor…
“A Spanish film crew arrives in Bolivia to make a film about Columbus in the New World. Idealistic director Sebastian (Gael García Bernal, The Motorcycle Diaries) wants to denounce the injustices of the past, focusing on exploitation of the indigenous people. Practical producer Costa (Luis Tosar, Cell 211), working on a tight budget, has chosen Bolivia, one of Latin America's poorest countries, to stand in for Santo Domingo because extras will work for only $2 a day. After an open casting call almost degenerates into a riot, Sebastian hires outspoken Daniel (Juan Carlos Aduviri) to play the rebel Indian leader. But when the locals begin demonstrations against a multinational's plans to privatize water-even the rain-Daniel is in the thick of them, endangering the film's shooting schedule. The thought-provoking screenplay by Paul Laverty (The Wind That Shakes the Barley) cunningly parallels the Spanish conquest of the Americas with the modern spread of capitalism. This fascinating mixture of past and present, fiction and fact, features spectacular scenes of the period film within a film. Directed by Icíar Bollaín...”
You can find out more at the films Facebook page…
The film just missed being selected as a contender for the Best Foreign Language Film in the 2011 Academy Awards. I couldn’t care less about the Academy Awards as many of the best films ever made received zero attention from the Academy, but even a nomination for the awards would have meant hundreds of thousands more people might have seen the film. So it is up to us to spread the word. I wouldn’t say it’s a perfect film by any means, but so few films address such important issues like globalization and the Bolivian Water War, that a move like this that does needs to be celebrated.
One of the most powerful lines in the film is delivered by Sebastian, the director of the film that is the plot of the movie. At one point he says… (and I paraphrase from memory) “this stuff will be forgotten but the film will live forever” or something to that effect, indicating in an extremely egotistical way that his film is more important than the Bolivian’s struggle for public ownership over their water resources. The line is supposed to be dark comedy highlighting the absurdity of Sebastian’s obsession over the film and his blindness to the importance of the events around him. But sadly, there maybe more truth to his statement than we might like to admit. How many people in the United States know about the Bolivian Water War. I would guess far less that 1%. Ironically, his film could in a small way help correct that injustice.
The film is playing at least through next Thursday at the Century Landmark Theater on North Clark Street.