lunes, 14 de mayo de 2018

7 Films You Must See Before Visiting Peru

Peru has an average of 250 films a year, and in the movie listings we find that between 65% and 85% of these come from Hollywood, while a significant percentage of films come from England, France or Spain.

This leaves a tiny 9% space for national Peruvian cinema. Despite this small margin, Peruvian cinema has left real jewels for lovers of the seventh art. Criticisms of a class society, homophobic, still tormented by the recent past of the armed conflict against Sendero Luminoso 'Shining Path', are some of the recurring themes that we will find in these films.

From our blog we would like to offer you some recommendations that have left their mark on the history of the Peruvian film industry. (All trailers are in spanish but you could find the eng. subtitles buying the original Dvd's in some peruvian stores such as Polvos Azules, near to Lima Downtown).

No se lo digas a Nadie (Don't tell anyone) (1998)

Directed by the famous film maker Francisco Lombardi, the film narrates the life of Joaquín Camino, a boy raised in the upper class sphere of Lima, who will have to hide his sexual orientation in order to be accepted into a classist, homophobic and extremely conservative society of the 1970s.

His male chauvism father and his devout mother led him to move away from home and become a rebellious, drug-addicted college student. "Don't tell anyone" was the first Peruvian film to incorporate homosexuality as one of its main themes. The scene between two of the gallants of the 90s, Santiago Magill and Christian Meier, was also well remembered.

Días de Santiago (Days of Santiago) (2004)

Josué Méndez directs this film that tells the story of Santiago Román, a former soldier in the Peruvian Navy who, after years of fighting terrorism and drug trafficking in his country, returns to a normal life in Lima. On his return, Santiago encounters complications when trying to adapt to civilian life; the memories of the war prevent him from finding peace and affect his relations with others.

"Días de Santiago" is one of the most awarded films in Peruvian cinema and perfectly portrays the damage and upheavals that several soldiers must go through once the war is over.

Madeinusa (2006)

This film directed by Claudia Llosa tells the story of Salvador, a young man from Lima who travels during Holy Week (Easter) to the imaginary village of Manayayaycuna ("the village that nobody wants to enter", in Quechua language), where from Good Friday to Resurrection Sunday there is no sin (because God is dead and cannot see his servants).

In this chaos, Salvador will have a relationship with a resident of Manayayaycuna, Madeinusa, who will try to convince him to take her to the capital.

This film is Llosa's debut feature, which only two years later would opt for the Oscar for "La teta asustada", nominated for Best Foreign Film in 2009. The Argentinian candidate for the film "El secreto de tus ojos" (The Secret in Your Eyes) received this award.

Contracorriente (Countercurrent) (2009)

A film by Javier Fuentes-León released in 2010, which was selected by the National Film Council to represent Peru in the Oscars, although it did not finally qualify as a finalist. Miguel, a young and handsome fisherman with a 'traditional' life and a pregnant wife, is immersed in a love triangle with a homosexual painter who arrives in his small coastal town. After an argument, the painter drowned but still shows up at night to visit Miguel like a ghost.

This film, with a great deal of magical realism, shows the double appearances in which the protagonist of the film is debated, who must appear to be heterosexual in a homophobic society and based on the `what will they say'.

Cielo Oscuro (Dark Sky) (2012)

In this film by Joel Calero,Toño, an older man in charge of a fabric business in the Gamarra emporium, meets Natalia, an apprentice actress who ends up being seduced by him. The romance of these two characters will be full of passion, but it will go hand in hand with a mind blowing charge of jealousy that goes beyond reason, ending in psychological and physical violence against women.

"Dark Sky" reflects explicit sex scenes and touches on the theme of feminicide in Peru.

Magallanes (Magellan) (2015)

Directed by Salvador del Solar, it shows the story of Harvey Magallanes, a taxi driver who, in one of his usual journeys, recognizes Celina, a young Ayacucho girl he met many years ago when he was a soldier in the Peruvian Army and fought against the militants of the terrorist group "Sendero Luminoso" (Shining Path).

When he sees her, he remembers that she is the young woman he forced to become his colonel's sex slave. Magallanes will try to redeem his guilt by helping Celina in her economic problems, even if he has to get into a problem that involves the most prestigious politicians and lawyers in the country.

"Magallanes", is the film with which the former Minister of Culture of Peru, Salvador del Solar, made his debut as director. It is a work that deals with the consequences of the armed conflict in Peru during 1980.

La última Tade (Last Afternoon) (2016)

Joel Calero directs this film, in which the couple formed by Laura and Ramón meet again 19 years later to finish the divorce proceedings. While waiting for the judge on duty, they decide to take a long walk through the streets of Barranco. The conversation both will have will be full of existential reflections, memories, and much mutual recrimination. After all, they only have one afternoon to understand what separated them.

"The last afternoon", shows us a socio-political reflection of two former left-wing militants on the present and the past of Peru.

Fortunately, in recent years, Peruvian cinema has received increasing support from institutions and the public, who have realized that only by filling the theatres can they compete against the great titan who represents the foreign industry.

Senna Gonzalez, Peru Travels Blog
May 2018