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Even the Rain 2010


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4.9 out of 5 stars (38) IMDb 7.5/10

Filmmaker Sebastian (Gael García Bernal) arrives in Cochabamba accompanied by a cast and crew ready to make a film about Colombuss first voyage to the New World and the subsequent subjugation of the indigenous population. Sebastian wants to focus on the experience of Bartolome de las Casas, who was so distraught over the treatment of the natives that he dedicated the rest of his life to their cause. His producer Costa (Luis Tosar) has chosen Bolivia, the poorest country in South America, because it makes sense economically. Extras are willing to work long hours for just two dollars a day. Sebastian casts local man Daniel in the role of Hatuey, the Taino chief who led a rebellion against the Spaniards. Daniel is also one of the leaders in the demonstrations against the water hikes. Intercutting footage of Sebastiens film with recordings of the actual protests, the lines between fiction and reality, past and present, are efficiently blurred. Effective on many levels, this film within a film draws subtle parallels between the exploitation of the past and the continued exploitation of Latin America by richer countries and multinational corporations. Bollaíns thoughts on the introspection inherent in filmmaking, or in any work of art, are expressed through Sebastian. He has only the best intentions of denouncing the injustices of the past, but little patience for the present dilemma, especially when it starts to impede his shooting schedule. Even the Rain is a film about hope. Focusing on the continuing exploitation of Latin America, Bollaín shows the inspirational change that is possible when people band together to fight injustice.

Najwa Nimri, Gael Garcia Bernal
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Product Details

  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 44 minutes
Starring Najwa Nimri, Gael Garcia Bernal, Luis Tosar, Emma Suarez
Director Icíar Bollaín
Genres Drama
Rental release 13 August 2012
Main languages Spanish
Subtitles English
Original title También la lluvia

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By Bob Salter TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 Sept. 2012
Format: 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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is one of the finest films I have ever watched.
A film company arrives in Cochabamba, Bolivia, to make a revisionist history film of Columbus’s arrival in the Americas in 1492. The material used to depict his barbarity and greed is lifted straight out of the first chapter of Howard Zinn’s seminal book A People’s History of the United States. The company employs local Native Americans as actors and extras and films scenes depicting their slavery and mutilation in the pursuit of gold. However, their arrival coincides with the Bolivian government’s sale of the local water supply to a foreign multinational and the outlawing of even collecting rain water, hence the film’s title.
The screenplay is exceptionally clever. The actor playing Columbus exploits the local hotel staff during a rehearsal, however benignly, the producer gloats about getting labour on the cheap and the idealistic director disapproves of his most important actors’ involvement in the campaign against the privatisation.
There is one particular scene in which the film company films Arawaks being burnt at the stake for opposing Columbus. At its conclusion, the police arrive and arrest Daniel, their most important local actor, for his involvement in a demonstration. The extras, all dressed in period costume, overturn the police car and release him. It’s wonderful. The clarity with which the lineage of exploitation is depicted is superb: gold, film, water. Nothing changes, the natives are still living in grinding poverty and even those wanting to set the record straight are part of the same system of oppression. There is also a sub-text of prejudice and racism, a set of assumptions about the natives shared by the European government agencies and some of the film crew.
It’s also lovely to see some unfamiliar actors whose characters do not speak with a Hollywood accent!
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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.
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