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In “Tambien la Lluvia” by Iciar Bollain, the atrocities of imperialism are seen through the lenses of modernity. Roughly 500 years later, the indigenous populations are still belittled by the ones in possession the power. Historically, the film happens among the “water war” in which Cochabamba is the scenario of violent protests against the excessive fees for water and the privatization of Bolivia’s water supply in 2000. Concurrently, the film is also about a cinematic production that addresses the stories of 16th priests who were the first to speak up against the colonizers cruel practices (Even the Rain Movie, 2010).

Paradoxically, the cinematic production crew that arrives in Cochabamba expressing their outrage feelings against imperialism, are “imperialists” themselves since their only concern is to get the film done at the lowest price possible. Fortunately, as time goes by, the whole crew except Sebastian is forced to dive into their own emotions showing some sort of involvement within the “water war” chaos. One of the most interesting aspects of this movie is that the colonialist social context remains affecting the relationships and experiences of the characters almost 500 years after the Spanish colonization. For instance, the movie production crew could be a symbolism of the Spanish colonizers who want to exploit the indigenous population since they pay them $2.00 per hour for their work.  Costa underestimates Daniel when he speaks in English with the production’s financial backers in the U.S about the budget and how they got the perfect extra-actors for as little as $ 2.00 per hour. At this point, Daniel understands the conversation letting Costa know that he is not a fool and for some reason, Costa starts seeing things differently. Another important point is that Sebastian’s production was affected the whole time by the social context of the film. The set location had to be changed; Sebastian and Costa had to use their “influence” to get Daniel out of jail in order to film; some of the actors were terrified and wanted to go back to Europe; tension was present almost the entire time in the movie.

The film aims to portray the conditions in which the story occurs through Costa’s inner transformation such as when he starts off saying, “I don’t give a damn about what happened yesterday, much less 500 years ago”  and when he is finally moved by those people’s situation and understands and respects their acts towards freedom ( Walsh, 2010).  In addition, the film portrays the conditions in which the story occurs by addressing the themes of social warrants and dominance.  Anger, outrage, greediness, power, awareness, sorrow, empathy, helplessness, courage and hope are the emotions that the film communicate. They are very well expressed through the camera close ups on the actors’ eyes and the philosophical debates among the crew during dinner, which also contrasts the European greed and the indigenous innocence.

Power is depicted through the conflictive relationship of social warrants and dominance through indigenous resistance to colonizers and riots during the “water war”.  First with colonialism and then with neo-colonialism, as Paulo Freire sheds light in his book “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”, when he talks about the “myth of the right of everyone to education”. One might question whether social warrants are nothing but social myths since they are defeated by social dominance in the film. Finally, I believe that the director Bollain did well on expressing her beliefs in the film when it comes to the difficulty of filming in a poor country and the risks to end up exploiting the population just because it’ll be good for the film’s budget.

References:

Walsh, David. “Even the Rain and the Need for Dealing with Complexity.” World Socialist Web Site. 1 Oct. 2010. Web. 19 Oct. 2014. http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2010/10/tff3-o01.html

“Tambien La Lluvia.” Even the Rain Movie. 1 Oct. 2010. Web. 19 Oct. 2014. http://www.eventherainmovie.com/synopsis.html.

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