Columbus did not land in Bolivia. But a Spanish film crew has chosen that country to shoot their historic recreation of that event -- and how some priests fought against the subsequent enslavement of the natives -- because, well, it's cheaper. That initial bit of convenient exploitation is only the start of the parallels in Even the Rain, a film in which the 2000 Bolivian "Water War" -- in which the citizenry fought against the privatization of their water supplies -- coincides with the filming of an historical epic, forcing everyone involved, including the driven director played by Gael Garcia Bernal and a cynical producer played by Luis Tosar, to confront how far a dedication to one's art applies in the face of genuine, human turmoil.
The complex scenario mixes reenactments of 15th century conquest, behind-the-scenes drama of the film's cast and crew, and a gritty envisioning of the battle over a prime element of life. It was written by Scottish author Paul Laverty (Ken Loach's Bread and Roses and The Wind that Shakes the Barley), and directed by Spanish director Iciar Bollain (Take My Eyes, Mataharis). I was lucky enough to speak to both of them for this episode -- click on the player to hear the interviews.
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