For a rich upper-class family locked into their own little world, Bolivia's social changes threaten to burst their bubble.

Writer:

(screenplay)
Reviews
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

American Visa (2005)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

After being denied an American visa, a Bolivian professor becomes involved in a web of criminal activities, holds-up the American consulate and falls for a beautiful prostitute from the Bolivian lowlands.

Director: Juan Carlos Valdivia
Stars: Demián Bichir, Kate del Castillo, Roberto Barbery
Matango (1963)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Shipwrecked survivors slowly transform into mushrooms.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Akira Kubo, Kumi Mizuno, Hiroshi Koizumi
Yvy Maraey (2013)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A filmmaker tracing the steps of Swedish explorer Erland Nordeskiold travels with a Guarani Indian from the highlands of La Paz to the swamps in the forests of South Eastern Bolivia, a ... See full summary »

Director: Juan Carlos Valdivia
Stars: Juan Carlos Valdivia, Elio Ortíz, Felipe Román
Suture (1993)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Brothers Vincent (rich) and Clay (poor) meet up for the first time after their father's funeral and remark on how similar they look. But unknown to Clay, who thinks his life is taking a ... See full summary »

Directors: Scott McGehee, David Siegel
Stars: Dennis Haysbert, Mel Harris, Sab Shimono
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
Director: Juan Carlos Valdivia
Stars: Dino García, María Renée Prudencio, Claudia Lobo
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Jacinto and Domitila are two indigenous Bolivians, happily married... and the most notorious criminals in the country... See full synopsis »

Director: Rodrigo Bellott
Stars: Erika Andia, Miguel Valverde, Cacho Mendieta
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

End of the 20's. Alfonso a young writer brought up in France, arrives to an adventurous mining town (Uyuni) in the midst of the Bolivian high plateau. Here he meets the beautiful Claudina a... See full summary »

Director: Antonio Eguino
Stars: Diego Bertie, Carla Ortiz, Milton Cortés
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

This film is about the world's most radical idea - freedom - and how it is transforming the world. It is about how people all over the globe - from Tunisian rappers to Indian comedians, ... See full summary »

Director: Rupert Russell
Crumb (1994)
Documentary | Biography | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An intimate portrait of the controversial cartoonist and his traumatized family.

Director: Terry Zwigoff
Stars: Robert Crumb, Aline Kominsky, Charles Crumb
Juggernaut (1974)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A blackmailer demands a huge ransom in exchange for information on how to disarm the seven bombs he placed aboard the transatlantic liner Britannic.

Director: Richard Lester
Stars: Richard Harris, Omar Sharif, David Hemmings
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In an oppressive future, a fireman whose duty is to destroy all books begins to question his task.

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Oskar Werner, Julie Christie, Cyril Cusack
Tommy (1975)
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A psychosomatically deaf, dumb and blind boy becomes a master pinball player and, subsequently, the object of a religious cult.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Roger Daltrey, Ann-Margret, Oliver Reed
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
Ninón del Castillo ...
Carola
Pascual Loayza ...
Wilson
Nicolás Fernández ...
Andres
Juan Pablo Koria ...
Patricio
Mariana Vargas ...
Bernarda
Viviana Condori ...
Marcelina
Luisa De Urioste ...
Carolina
Glenda Rodríguez ...
Erika
Ximena Alvarez ...
Aunt Rosario
Juana Chuquimia ...
Comadre Remedios
Edit

Storyline

In La Paz -as opposed to many other cities- the rich live below, which is the Southern District. Life goes on without major mishaps in a large house surrounded by a beautiful garden. It is a wonderful world, a great bubble of comfort, where different personal spheres coexist: the mother, along with her three children and the Aymara inhabitants of the house. The drama surfaces slowly, without narrative ploys, observing day-to-day activities until internal and external forces make the bubble burst. The film relates the story of the final days of an upper-class family, at a time when the country is undergoing social changes. Written by Tokyo International Film Festival

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

11 March 2011 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Southern District  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (35 mm version)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In September 2009, the film was selected to represent Bolivia in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 2010 Academy Awards. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
an interesting experiment cinematically and a good (if not great) character study on the powerful in decline
21 August 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film is one of those 'as time goes by' kind of movies. They're out there, and sometimes they are shot in still images unlike this film (You, the Living comes to mind), but they're not too common and only some can pull it off. It's like we're following everything that the characters are doing, and our own following them, the cinematographer's fascination seeping out over to us, is what makes it fascinating (or at least in theory). In Southern District the director Juan Carlos Valdivia takes his roaming never-stopping camera on to decay and disorder (almost as a rule like Godard's Weekend with the rule of never-stopping the tracking shot during a traffic jam). In this case it's not very quick but a slow burn as a Bolivian family that has money but no power sees itself fleeting in a place where many of their friends question why they stay, and the indigenous servants look on with shaking heads. Only the young Andres is innocent to what's going on.

What made me interested was to see how long Valdivia could keep the shot going, or where he could take it. This is an experiment in mis-en-scene as he tries to find ways to keep the actors blocked within reason - there's not much outside of the surreal flights of fancy with Andres and his mother with wings flying in the sky that is unusual, maybe that's enough - and sometimes a shot will go on as long as five minutes. But his tracking shots are with some taste and style, for example in sex scenes with the younger people of the family he only shows so much nudity and the actors still make it erotic without going too far. It's tough and clever to pull off at the same time.

As for the characters themselves, they are sometimes quite interesting

  • the Mother of the family, who can look like a one-dimensional shrew,


has some depth in unexpected moments and is fully rounded because she does have love and reason amid her upper-class leanings. And the Indians are really fun to watch, especially when the one guy puts on his boss' lotions and cologne's and does a full shower in their bathroom. Other characters like the siblings Patricio and Bernada are less interesting, but then are in their shallow upper-class existence anyway, dominated by sex and gambling and alcohol and other things. But still that camera goes, and we keep watching as, oddly enough not a lot goes on.

For some that may be distracting. It may be too much and call attention to itself that the camera doesn't stop circling (though not too fast, always noticeable) during a dinner scene, or when two characters are just walking in the room). There's an anxious energy to the film that mirrors the anxiety of living this way, and living on the edge of despair that they are doing. We may not feel sympathy for their plight, but if you can buy into what the director's doing the goals are met. It's a little-discovered experiment that has the air of Brian De Palma tackling Luis Bunuel.


2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Comments Please Skrbi
Discuss Zona sur (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?