Right off, there’s a clue in the Dedication of the film: it’s to Howard Zinn. The film is based on an interesting juxtaposition of politics and film-making. When a film crew wants to make a movie about the Spanish exploitation of indigenous people, they choose Bolivia for its plentiful supply of cheap labor. Already they’re perpetuating the exploitation. And when a large part of the cast are caught up in the water rights protests of earlier in the 2000’s, the viability of the project is in danger. There was actually a time when the world Bank made it illegal to collect rainwater in Bolivia, as this would interfere with the water monopoly.
Even the Rain (También la lluvia) is thought provoking cinema, with Gael García Bernal as the Director and Luis Tosar as his Executive Producer. The cast also includes several indigenous people in supporting roles. Put this in the movie-within-a movie category, a genre which I enjoy. The director (Sebastian) is passionate about correcting the received view of Christopher Columbus. He casts a charismatic local leader in a key role (against the wishes of the producer), but when this leader is a major player in the water rights protests, the production is in danger of shutting down.
The irony is that the director had been the progressive thinker and the producer was the money guy, keeping costs down. When push comes to shove though, it’s the director who cops out and the producer who turns out to stand up for the protestors. The politics are not forced and stand up well.
From Director (and actress) Icíar Bollaín.