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Soy andina (2007)

7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 9 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 3 critic

Two New Yorkers journey to Peru to reconnect with roots and dance. Folk dancer Nélida Silva returns to her Andean birthplace to host the patron saint festival. Modern dancer Cynthia ... See full summary »

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Title: Soy andina (2007)

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Cast

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Nelida Silva ...
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Cynthia Paniagua ...
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Storyline

Two New Yorkers journey to Peru to reconnect with roots and dance. Folk dancer Nélida Silva returns to her Andean birthplace to host the patron saint festival. Modern dancer Cynthia Paniagua embarks on her own journey after meeting Neli - determined to "quench a burning desire to know the real Peru, and unearth the mystery of the dances." Soy Andina is a story about crossing cultures and affirming identity in a globalized world. Written by Mitchell Teplitsky

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Plot Keywords:

peru | dance | identity | See All (3) »

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Two New York dancers return to Peru to reconnect with roots and dance

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Documentary

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Release Date:

12 September 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Am Andean  »

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Budget:

$200,000 (estimated)
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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Culture and its discontents
24 February 2009 | by (Perú) – See all my reviews

Even as they come to their shared Andean culture from distinctly different starting points, "Soy Andina" lovingly captures two women's embrace of their culture and the empowering friendship which emerges between them as a result. Nelida, the older, was raised in Perú and carries the passion of preserving the traditions and folkloric expressions of the village which she has known since her childhood. Cynthia comes initially to her parents' Peruvian culture through her innate love of dance, and this stimulates her interest to learn Peruvian dances as a participant. As a result of a scholarship allowing her to study in Perú, Cynthia's "genetic cultural memory" is awakened and she blossoms into the Andean woman previously lying dormant within her.

For me, the film powerfully demonstrates the tension inherent within cultural preservation. If we approach "culture" as a static reality, that is, expressions which are fixed and therefore should not be invaded upon, adjusted, or changed in any way, we are far more likely to resist any force with seems to be changing it, either intentionally or not. However, if we view culture in a more dynamic manner, seeing expressions as flexible interpretations of core values held, we are more likely to not be threatened by the changes we observe in the expressions. The defining moment of the film occurs when Nelida objects to the folklore band playing cumbia instead of folklore music in the village's annual celebration. For her, the modern has invaded upon the traditional, and this is tantamount to treason. At the core, she fears the loss of her culture and is fighting to preserve it.

Soy Andina, while showing Peruvian culture, actually demonstrates the power which culture and its expressions hold in our lives. Without denying its Peruvian basis, Soy Andina is a mirror into our deeper beliefs of what it is to be human and a member of something larger than ourselves, our families, and our clans.


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