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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bridging 500 Years., 6 Sep 2012
By 
Bob Salter "Captain Spindrift" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Even the Rain [DVD] (DVD)
Films about films don't always engage with the viewer. Historical films can also be hit and miss on occasions. So why not tell a historical story through modern day lenses using the device of making a film on location in Bolivia. Quite a feat of imagination, and one that on the face of it would be difficult to pull off. But Spanish director Iciar Bollain, with the help of her talented scriptwriter Paul Laverty has made something that is imaginative, thought provoking and perceptive. A real tour de force of film talent and ability. The film within the film is based largely on the Dominican priest Padre Antonio Montesinos, who spoke out in March 1511 against the might of the Spanish empire. His denunciation of the mistreatment and murder of indigenous peoples by the Spanish conquerors was a lone voice crying out in the wilderness. His words carry great resonance today, and as such are ideal for a contemporary setting. It is worth quoting him here. "Look into an Indian's eyes. Are these not men? Do they not have rational souls? Are you not obliged to love them as yourselves". Brave words that probably pronounced his own death sentence. A story worth telling!

Luis Tosar plays the opportunistic executive producer Costa, who exploits the indigenous people of Bolivia by only paying them a 2 dollar pittance for a days work. All part of cutting the costs! Gael Garcia Bernal plays the Mexican film director Sebastian. Accompanied by a cast and crew they arrive in Cochabamba, Bolivia to make a film about the arrival of Columbus in the New World, particularly highlighting their cruel and exploitive treatment of the local Taino indian population, which lead to their eventually extermination. Tosar's behaviour of course echoes this. History is then bridged as filming takes place against the background of the water war in Bolivia, where violent privatisation of water fuelled by the interests of foreign investors lead to protests across the country. It is probably better to read Oscar Oliveira's eye witness account "Cochabamba, Water War in Bolivia", to understand the cruel injustives visited on the indigenous peoples. So, nothing much changes over 500 years and the peon class still gets a raw deal. In an original way this highlights the heroic finger in the dam protest by that one lone priest so many years before. But someone has to make a stand, and that is at the very heart of this film. Ken Loach would love this! No surprise then that Laverty wrote the screenplay for Loach's "The Wind that Shakes the Barley".

Luis Tosar is superb as Costa who finally realises that there are more important things than making a film. Karra Elijalde does an impressive turn as the alcoholic actor who plays Christopher Columbus in the film. The film also imitates the trials and tribulations of filmmaking on location, when crews can be at the mercy of more volatile local politics. The powerful documentary film "Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmakers Apocalypse" famously documented the hardships endured by Francis Ford Coppola and his crew to film the epic "Apocalypse Now". I was also reminded of Werner Herzog's epic film "Fitzcarraldo" also filmed on location and where there were strong accusations of mistreatment of indigenous peoples. Something this film was at pains to refute. The Jesuit priest that Jeremy Irons played in that brilliant film "The Mission", who was willing to die to protect his native converts, could almost have been based on Padre Montesinos. The words of Montesinos are both brilliant and passionate. The film captures a lot of those qualities particularly in a final scene involving water, a commodity that can be as precious as gold! An important film that has something worthwhile to say.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Tale of Slavery, Columbus and Water Privatisation in Bolivia!, 30 Aug 2012
By 
Tommy Dooley (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Even the Rain [DVD] (DVD)
Set in Bolivia, this Spanish film stars Gael Garcia Bernal (`Amores Perros', `Bad Education' and `Rudi y Cursi') as film director Sebastian. He is making a film in the Cochabamba region with his exec producer Costa (Luis Tosar - `Cell 211', `Mr Nice' and `Miami Vice'). They have chosen the area because they are on a limited budget and know they can hire local extras for next to nothing.

At auditioning a feisty Indian, Daniel kicks up a fuss about not getting a screen test, Sebastian decides to take him on. They are shooting a film about Columbus set in 1511, and they want to use contemporary accounts as much as possible to keep it accurate. They are also keen to show how the Indians were exploited by the Spanish Empire and show a few good men who stood up for the Indians and the tyranny of the Church.

Things go well at first and the historical scenes are absolutely brilliant - would make an excellent film in itself to be honest. But then they discover that Daniel is a leading activist against the privatisation of water or more accurately the theft of water, which is referenced in the title of the film. The local police enforce the foreign privately owned water companies policies and as water means life, it is only inevitable that the Indians will fight back.

So as filming rolls on, the five hundred year old events start to have a strange resonance with what is actually taking place in the present, and the parallels with the Conquistadors is only too obvious.

This then is a truly brilliant piece of cinema; you almost get two films in one or three if you include the people making a documentary of the making of the film. Yes it sounds complicated but it really works. The framing of the shots is superb, the scenery stunning, all the actors do an excellent job and some of the crowd scenes have a real feeling of documentary - which all adds to the realism. It is also shamelessly emotional and I suppose it was inevitable given the subject matter and had me moved a couple of times, so I can not recommend highly enough. In Spanish, with some English and sub titles that are sometimes slightly obscured, but still alright, this is a film for anyone who likes their cinema slightly different or indeed likes world cinema. This was written by the uber talented Paul Laverty (`The Wind That Shakes The barley', `Sweet Sixteen' and `Route Irish') and I cant wait to see his next offering (`The Angels Share') until then I will watch this again as it is just that good
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even the Rain - a great movie, 9 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Even the Rain [DVD] (DVD)
A powerful film that overlaps historical facts with modern day
power of the state and multi-national companys - with the local
populations paying the price.
Great acting - well produced film
A moving, emotional film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superlative in every way!, 30 Dec 2012
By 
K. E. Michael "Karen Michael" (Norwich UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Even the Rain [DVD] (DVD)
This is a layer cake of entwined stories sung in the key of anti-imperialism. Cinematographically gorgeous to boot. Treasure it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A film which everyone should see., 14 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Even the Rain [DVD] (DVD)
This film leaves a lasting impression on those, like myself and my friends, who watch it. Its story is intriguing, compelling and of serious importance. The direction and acting are first-rate. Above all the setting is so wonderful and so superbly filmed that it becomes a character in the film.
Recommended without hesitation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very moving film, 30 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Even the Rain [DVD] (DVD)
A moving but sometimes harrowing juxtaposition of Spanish exploitation of the Indians with the Water War in Bolivia. several strong characters with conflicting interests. Several scenes which will stick in the mind ,especially the raising of the huge cross and the defiance of the Indians against forced conversion .
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three stories make one fantastic movie!, 22 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Even the Rain [DVD] (DVD)
This film gripped me from the very beginning. In a clever mirroring of historical Spanish subjugation of indigenous peoples, a Spanish film crew arrive in Bolivia to make a film about Columbus' arrival in the 'New World' because they can make it cheaply there. In the midst of filming, the Water Wars break out in Cochabamba, adding a third layer of exploitation which mirrors Columbus' extraction of gold hundreds of years before. As the film progresses, the idealist (the director, played by Gael Garcia Bernal) and the realist (the Producer, the brilliant Luis Tosar) gradually change places as events change their stances. A thought I was left with after watching this film is that I wish they had made the Columbus movie for real - from the glimpses you see it looks like it would have be a corker!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 6 July 2014
This review is from: Even the Rain [DVD] (DVD)
Excellent
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5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should watch this because it shows what can be done against government and what could lie ahead for us, 4 July 2014
By 
Miss T Fied (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Even the Rain [DVD] (DVD)
A little slow to get into but tells the story of the water riots in Bolivia through the characters involved in making a film. I don't know though if people watching this will realise where the split in this film lies between truth and fiction - but the water riots were real and the way the people rose against the government (and World Bank) and secured the end of water privatisation when Even the Rain falling on your roof isn't yours to use is something that we who are sheltered in the UK should wake up to. Nestles CEO currently wants to have all water in the world owned by private firms and therefore we will face the same scenario - parts of the US already have legislation preventing people from saving rainwater to water their veg gardens etc. All in the name of profit for shareholders. A| real wake up call. The UK currently imports more than 70% of all of the water it needs - it's hidden in all the food, drink and goods that we import - we are not self sufficient in water at all. so what goes on elsewhere in the world will impact us whether we like it or not - but at the moment we are shielded from the impacts because we are such a wealthy country. That won't last, and by the time more people realise the implications, it will be too late to unpick all the appalling international trade deals that Obama and the UK government are putting in place all over the world which are taking away all of our basic human rights and environmental / social protections
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 4 July 2014
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This review is from: Even the Rain [DVD] (DVD)
Best film I have seen for years so bought it for my son.
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Even the Rain [DVD]
Even the Rain [DVD] by Icíar Bollaín (DVD - 2012)
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