Tambien la luvia (Even the rain) a PNN ReViewsForTHe RevOlution movie review


Tiny - Posted on 27 February 2011

Author: 
Tiny aka Lisa Gray-Garcia/Indigenous Peoples Media Project @ PNN

 

"Siempre es dinero (its always about money)...." We open with Spanish filmmakers Gael Garcia Bernal and Luis Tosar driving their late model SUV’s through a lush green backdrop of our sacred Pachamama, chuckling, bickering, thinking of the ways they will produce a movie about Christopher Columbus with a small budget by exploiting the indigenous peoples of Bolivia and their lands

 

After that first scene, we learn that the filmmakers are launching a media project dripping with 1st world arrogance and modern day 21st century colonizer hypocrisies. Arty director Costa (Gael Garcia) has a "vision" to depict a "good" colonizer, Antonio de Montesinos, one of the Columbus-era priests who had spoken out against the slavery of indigenous peoples. make a movie about colonization which is real and different and therefore any thing he does to this end is, "ok" .

 

"Cara Blanca," In the next scene we meet Hatuey aka Daniel (juan carlos aduviri), the indigenous leader from Bolivia, who begins a resistance in the miles long line of people who are waiting patiently to audition as extras in the film. The brilliance of the movie begins here. Gael Garcia's character is wracked with guilt and bickers with the Cara Blanca (white face) character of Costa (Luis Tosar) who is all about the bottom line and seems to have no concsiousness about the modern day colonization they are perpetuating in the production of the film itself

 

A third layer of colonization unfolds in the background of the movie, with the brutal IMF inspired attempt to privatize Bolivian water rights and the revolutionary resistance Hatuey, his family and his comrades launch in resistance.

 

As an indigenous Taino person whose peoples were slaughtered and enslaved by Columbus, the mock "scenes" with Cristobal Columbus were almost impossible to watch, causing the opening of a deep and painful ancestral memory. These scenes provided no epiphany for me, i have had personal experience, as most indigenous peoples have had, with user-friendly colonizers who claim rights to all of our art and dreams and words in the production of their well-intentioned media production, be they produce films, video documentaries, radio projects, research studies, journalistic stories, or social work. It is a special kind of carte blanch arrogance to land, story, image and resources that seems to inform all first world folks involved in art and/or service.

 

That said, this is a very powerful movie that depicts the subtle and not so subtle ways 21st century default colonization happens and i i would recommend it highly as a primer for anyone involved in art, film, missionary, academia or service provision locally or globally, to begin a conversation about how and who art and story and land and dreams should be shared, produced, and depicted.

 

For indigenous peoples living art, and survival in resistance we neednt see the movie, but rather deepen the discussion about the ways we own, lead, and share our stories, art and resources.

 

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