También la Lluvia

Even the RainDrama

Learners’ Notes

  • Perfect for those looking to pick up some Bolivian vernacular
  • Breathtaking vistas of rural Bolivia making for an engaging watch
  • Interesting lessons in Bolivia’s colonial history
  • Ample insight into the lives of the indigenous peoples of Bolivia
  • Lot of Quechua, an indigenous tongue common in the Andean valleys, to be heard in case one is interested
  • Typical intonation and idiomatic expressions of the Valluno dialect, the Spanish spoken in Cochabamba, easily noticeable
brief synopsis

Sebastian (Gael Garcia Bernal) and Costa (Luis Tosar) are life long friends only in the way a warring couple might be. Sebastian is an obsessive idealist who has sworn to his inner self that he will direct a film about one of the worlds most iconic figures, Christopher Columbus (Karra Elejalde). He is determined to upturn the entire conservative myth of Western Civilization’s arrival in the Americas as a force for good. Rather, his story is about what Columbus set in motion; the obsession with gold, the hunt for slaves, and violence against those who fought back. His story is counterbalanced by the radical priests Bartolome de las Casas (Raul Arevalo) and Antonio Montestinos (Carlos Santos) who were the first to raise their voice in defence of the Indians. Sebastian is also obsessed by the first Indian leader to resist – Hatuey (Carlos Aduviri), who was nailed to a cross and crucified as example to those who oppose the Christians. The talented and brilliant actor playing Columbus constantly challenges Sebastian and accuses him of cheap manipulation. Costa cares little about what happened in the past. The only thing that matters to him is his professional pride as a producer – that the film is made on time and within budget. Costa has come up with an insane idea, but the only way to get a difficult film made within the limitations of their modest budget. Despite Sebastian’s fury, they will shoot in Bolivia, the cheapest and most “Indian” of Latin American countries.

As the shoot progresses in and around the city of Cochabamba, so too does civil and political unrest simmer below the surface as the entire water supply of the city is privatized and sold to a British and American multinational. As Sebastian and Costa struggle with their film the violence in the community in which they shoot increases by the day, until the entire city explodes into the now infamous Bolivian Water War. (This actually took place in April 2000.) 500 years after Columbus sticks and stones confront steel and gun powder of a modern army. Only this time they fight not about gold, but the simplest of life-giving elements – water.