Travel Ideals in Film
Edited By Gemma Blackwood and Andrew McGregor
Chapter One: On Location: White SUVs, Moral High Ground, and the Politics of Re-enactment in Icíar Bollaín’s También la lluvia / Even the Rain
MARY LOUISE PRATT
On Location: White SUVs, Moral High Ground, and the Politics of Re-enactment in Icíar Bollaín’s También la lluvia / Even the Rain
From its opening to its closing scene, Icíar Bollaín’s film También la lluvia / Even the Rain (2010), is punctuated by scenes of white northerners looking at radically unfamiliar southern realities through the windows of moving (also white) vehicles.1 The travel ideal put to the test here is filmmaking itself, in particular the authenticity sought by filming “on location”. Set in the year 2000, También la lluvia centres on a Spanish film crew that travels to Latin America to make a movie about the early years of Spanish colonialism in the Americas. The project is driven by an ethical mission: to recall the brutality and violence of Spanish colonial rule, and to recover and celebrate the handful of dissident priests who bravely condemned the abuses.2 The proposed film will take the form of a ← 15 | 16 → re-enactment of events in Spain’s first American colony, founded in 1493 on the island of Hispaniola. Spanish soldiers and colonists are the villains of the piece; the heroes are the Dominican friars Antonio de Montesinos and his famed disciple Bartolomé de las Casas,3 who condemned colonial abuses (played by Raúl Arévalo and Carlos Santos, respectively) and the Taíno rebel leader Hatuey (played by Juan Carlos Aduviri). The director Sebastián...
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