Corruption in Bolivia Creates an Inspirational Film
by rmalo2 on November 18, 2013 - 7:49pm
In Bolivia in 2000, the people living in Cochabamba, Bolivia’s third largest city, were being deprived of one of life’s basic essentials: water. This is a vast important ethical dilemma. The city’s water was being taken and privatized by an American company because the local government needed to raise the price of water significantly. Not only could the people living here not afford the water, but the wells they did own were also being taken from them. The film Even the Rain (Bollaín 2010) does an incredible job of exposing the beginning and length of what is known as the Cochabamba protests or the Cochabamba Water War.
Icíar Bollaín displays the hard struggles faced by the city dwellers of Cochabomba. She does this by creating a plot where a movie is being filmed in the city and needs several civilians from the city to star in the movie. Throughout the filming of the movie, you get to know one of the civilians, Daniel, played by Juan Carlos Aduviri, very well. He is a husband and a father of a young girl who also stars in the movie. Daniel is a very important character in the movie. He is portrayed as the Taíno chief who leads the revolt against Christopher Columbus and his men. During the midst of filming, Daniel also finds himself as the head of a rebellion against the Bolivian government.
Bollaín portrays the Cochabamba Water War through the eyes of Daniel, his family, and several other civilians living in the city who are also being affected by the crisis. Throughout the film, the protests and the tension between the civilians and the Bolivian government gets worse with every passing day. Every protest is increasingly worse than the one before it. During the movie, the executive producer of the movie being filmed, Costa, played by Luis Tosar, realizes that his main character, Daniel, is becoming more involved in the protests and is sometimes leading them, making him worry that he may become hurt or even worse, thrown in jail if he continues to lead the protests and that he will not be able to continue the movie. In order to make him stop, Costa first only tells him to stop. Daniel ignores him and continues to rebel. Costa realizes that it did not work and he offers him thousands of dollars to stop protesting until the movie is finished being filmed. Daniel accepts the money but remains active in the protests.
I believe Daniel’s passionate actions in the movie show the audience that nothing would stop him from fighting for what he believed in, not even money that could help his family overcome poverty. It was extremely moving to watch what his character would do not only for his family but for the whole city. In my eyes, Daniel was a true hero. Daniel was eventually thrown in jail because of his rebellious actions toward the government. In the real event that took place in 2000, over 200 civilians were arrested and over 70 were injured. In the movie, Bollaín did an incredible job of showing the state of emergency. Civilians were blocking off roads to the inner city with furniture and when cars did pass through, they were jumped on and rocked. She portrayed the state of turmoil to capture her audience and she did an amazing job in making the events so real.
A part in the movie that really affected me was when the assistant director in the movie, María, played by Cassandra Ciangherotti, took it into her hands to film some of the events taking place in the city. She even stated that she thought it was amazing material to base a documentary off of. The fact that an outsider who was not affected by the water crisis and was only staying in the city for a short period of time wanted to record what was happening was shocking. It didn’t affect her at all and she wanted to make it public and show it to the world, wanting to make a difference.
Overall, this movie had a huge effect on me. Seeing what these characters would do to protect themselves, their families, and their rights was an amazing thing to see. Nothing could get in their way of doing what they believe in.
Bollaín, I. (Director). (2010). Even the rain [DVD]. Bolivia: Image Studio.