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Francisco J. Lombardi
The Peruvian anti-terrorist army takes control of a far away and unknown small village isolated in the Andes by the terrorist militia "Sendero Luminoso" (Shining Path), during the dirty war in Peru at 80's decade.
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This Oscar nominated film is the story of two men who are opposites, one gay, the other straight, one a fierce communist, the other a fierce individualist, one suspicious, the other accepting, and how they come to love each other.
Tomás Gutiérrez Alea,
Juan Carlos Tabío
Madeinusa is a 14-year-old girl with a sweet Indian face. She lives in an isolated village in Peru's Cordillera Blanca Mountain range, a strange place characterized by its religious fervor. From Good Friday at three o'clock in the afternoon (the time of day when Christ died on the cross) to Easter Sunday, everyone in the village can do whatever they want. During the two holy days sin does not exist: God is dead and can't see what is happening. Everything is accepted and allowed, without remorse. Year after year, Madeinusa, her sister Chale, and their father Don Cayo, the Mayor and local big shot, maintain this tradition without questioning it. However, everything changes with the arrival in the village of Salvador, a young geologist from Lima who will unknowingly change the girl's destiny.Written by
When this movie was premiered in Lima, there was an outrage in the media. Polls were run and showed a deep and neat divide among public. Almost half of moviegoers would call it shameful, pitiful, racist trash,etc. The other half would congratulate the production, the effort, etc. Very little in between. There is an obvious theme of Magical Realism trough the movie. And with a good knowledge of the true people of the Andean country towns it is mighty obvious that the whole tale is a fantasy, that could be based on urban legends and cultural misunderstandings. But nothing else. It's just that many Peruvians resent the thought that anybody outside would think that all Peruvians are like those in the movie. The foreigner to Perú must understand that there is a whole parallel culture alive in the Andes, that has survived the westernization of the capital and most of the coast region. But its not what we see in this movie. Not at all.
This is a fantastic tale. A grim fable. And it is very Peruvian. Full of details, that are easy to spot for the local, but obscure and weird for the foreigner. And that is right on the spot for the story. Because the male lead, being "limeño", belongs to the "other culture" and doesn't know better. This movie does not pretend to be pedagogic, nor documentary material. And it touches very sensitive matters in very weird ways. It's wicked. But the exotic town is out of this world. The male lead in the movie walks the town like a stumbling Alice in Wickedland. And it is what it is.
If they ever do the Hollywood remake, it can be made with a town that looks like an Amish camp, or something out of the Little House in the Praire, with a catholic touch, and tell this very same story with little changes. That would look like one of those Twilight Zone movies. And be enjoyed by the fans of such kind of movies.
In my humble opinion, this movie is far better than The Milk of Sorrow, by the same director and with the same main female protagonist. I just think that it was ignored in its moment, but deserves a look.
Not for the religious sensitive anyway. Catholics beware, ye have been warned.
But if you want to know how the real Perú is, come and visit. :)
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