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Even the Rain

Ancient troubled histories repeat on in Latin America, in this contemporary drama

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In Icíar Bollaín's film, set in 2000, a film crew sets up camp in Bolivia, where there is plenty of drama on and off set. The docudrama being filmed is an indictment of Christopher Columbus' poor treatment of the indigenous Caribbean people, whom he converted to slave labor. But -- surprise -- the film folk casually exploit the native Quechas, and ignore their ongoing struggle to reclaim the land's water from a private, overseas company. Icíar Bollaín's film, with its present-mirrors-the-past theme, is all quite obvious -- what are the odds the man picked to play the leader of the revolt against Columbus is also the leader of the water struggle? -- but enjoyable up to a point. The Columbus film looks interesting (even with its hack actors), and who doesn't like an easy-to-process anti-imperialism screed combined with real events? But the final reel bumbles about, falling into soap-opera subplots and hasty resolutions. It never matches the momentum of the film-within-a-film's grand scene, during which the colonists are damned to hell by the natives. Of course, as we learn repeatedly in this film, that curse doesn't quite stick. In Spanish, with subtitles. Manor

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