So we caught one of the films at the Sydney Film Festival, due to the combination of a)babysitter availability and b)a desire to put some money into the film industry after excessive recent freeloading via our torrenting friends around the world.
Luckily, we made a decent choice for this rare event in the form of the Spanish/French/Mexican co-production Tambien la Lluvia, or Even the Rain, directed by Iciar Bollain. We enjoyed it even more because it was held in the opulent and slightly over-the-top State Theatre of NSW. It’s a long way to the screen from the dress section seats when you forget your specs, but otherwise, a nice change.
In a nutshell, Spanish filmmakers head to Latin America in an attempt to make a quasi-revisionist historical drama on the arrival of Christopher Columbus. They start filming in Bolivia, because Bolivia’s cheap, but their own exploitation of the locals (and their coming to grips with this) is soon at least matched by the attempts of a foreign multinational to extract the locals’ water supply and let the free market do its damage (and yes, there’s a leftist slant to proceedings.) Low and behold, their chief ‘Indio’ rabble rouser in the film also leads his people in the increasingly severe protests and uprising against the pre-Evo Morales Bolivian state, based as they are on real life events.
It’s not too saccharine, when other films would have succumbed to the temptation, and there’s no clear right and wrongs (for the most part) when the production team confront their morals. One for the New Internationalist crowd no-doubt (disclaimer: I too once had a subscription), but a solid, balanced film with occasional documentary-style pretensions and a few strong performances.
Four stars (is what I put on the card on the way out.)