Paul Laverty took aim at globalization, comparing it to European conquests of the New World, in his partially successful script for También la lluvia, from Spain, Mexico and France; but Icíar Bollaín’s labored, unimaginative direction added nothing to this, resulting in a sour, schematic film. There are so many valuable anti-globalization films available for viewing—and, tellingly, no existing film in favor of globalization*—that I see no reason to recommend it despite its basis in actuality.
También la lluvia belongs to the genre of movies about the making of movies. A Spanish director, producer and crew have come to Cochabamba, Bolivia, to take advantage of drastically less expensive actors, extras and other costs than they would find at home. Their film is a period-piece about Columbus’s Spanish invasion and oppression of the natives five hundred years earlier; but their own rerun of the same old exploitation, this time without the rationalization of Christianity, eludes them.
As it happens, a local laborer who has been hired to play an important role in the film-within-the-film, a young indigent, plays a lead role in protests that erupt due to the privatization of regional water resources, which would require inhabitants to pay for the water that Nature provides, even rainwater. The demonstrations are brutally put down. All this occurred in 2000, in Cochabamba, as it happens, after a U.S. corporation, Bechtel, bought the water supply from the Bolivian government. In the end, the Bolivian people, winning out, resumed their rights to well-water and the rain.
A sentimental plot involving the alleged political enlightenment of the heartless producer is close to ridiculous. Luis Tosar is too broad an actor to engineer so delicate a transformation. Gael García Bernal does better with the simpler role of the director.
* as far as I know
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