Even The Rain (2010)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB.  

Original title:  Tambien La Lluvia

Spain/France/Mexico, 2010.  AXN, Alebrije Cine y Video, Canal+ España, Canal+, Consellería de Cultura e Turismo, Eurimages, Haut et Court, Instituto de Crédito Oficial, Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales, Londra Films P&D, Mandarin Films, Morena Films, Natixis Coficiné, También la lluvia, Televisión Española, Vaca Films.  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Imagine Day For Night directed by Costa-Gavras and you have the essence of this searing, highly motivated drama by Iciar Bollain. Film producer  and writer/director show up in Bolivia to make their grand epic about Christopher Columbus, hoping to create a more complicated historical portrait of the man than has been seen before. They’ve chosen the landlocked South American country to film in because the extras are cheap and so are the locations, despite the fact that even Bernal points out that indigenous Bolivian mountain residents are not nearly close to resembling the people that Columbus actually encountered when he reached the shores of the new world. What they also do not realize is that their decadent film production arrives just at the moment when the Bolivia’s recent privatization of its water supply (the film is set in 2000) is pushing the large population of oppressed, poor citizens towards rebellion and dangerous unrest; the corporation controlling water services has raised prices ridiculously high and declared that it is illegal for citizens to collect rainwater. The irony of privileged European citizens trying to create something relatively unimportant (a film) about the complicated history of colonization is set against the reality of the effects of colonization, a situation further complicated by the fact that the message is being delivered by the very medium (a film!) that is being declared the hypocritical symbol of First World indulgence. It’s a winking irony and only adds to the pleasure of watching something so marvelously dramatic, a film that covers all of its bases beautifully without ever hammering its message over your head in a shrill or judgmental manner. Instead the political themes are sublimated into a very personal story with charismatic personalities, and the performances are all superb, with Tosar an outstanding lead as the producer who only cares about the bottom line but is eventually moved to care about human souls.

Toronto International Film Festival:  2010


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