Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Even the Rain (Spain/Mexico/France: Icíar Bollaín, 2010)

The film within a film begins to open up the narratives from past to present, from Spanish filmmakers to Bolivian extras, from corporate claims to native rights, from conservative politicians to liberal elites, multiplying the discourses in a way that provides a powerful dialogic awakening in the filmmakers and the audience. - Michael Dean Benton (August 7, 2019)

Even the Rain (Icíar Bollaín, 2010) takes a metacinematic approach to the story of a Mexican film crew in Bolivia shooting an historic drama on Christopher Columbus’s conquest. With the water rights riots in Bolivia as a background, Bollaín uses different cinematic styles to establish disturbing parallels between old European imperialism, the recent waves of corporate exploitation, and on the individual scale, the exploitation of Bolivian actors for the benefit of the global film industry. The film within a film device furnishes some insights on the dynamics and pressures that crews face when developing a socially engaged film. Bollaín warns that these productions can fall into a colonialist dynamic by reproducing the imbalances between the ‘visible’ countries in the global film market, and ‘invisible’ countries whose native actors and visually appealing locations are exploited. Even the Rain blends several cinematic tendencies, which at times clash to create a temporal short circuit. One is the visually stunning historic drama reminiscent of Hollywood epics. Another is the documentary-style shooting of Cochabamba’s urban guerrilla crisis, in which the heritage of the 1960s new waves of Latin American cinema clearly emerges. The sequences showing the film crew shooting the historic drama on Columbus at times clash with the other temporalities, and these moments are effective in reinforcing the claim that cinema should maintain a dual role of witness on contemporary abuses and preservation of memory. - Fabrizio Cilento (2012)

• One billion people worldwide have no access to clean water within a 15-minute walk of their homes.

• 25 million people die each year from contaminated water (that's the equivalent of the entire population of Canada.)

• The ancient ideal of water as a commons is on its way out as water privatization by large corporations and governments increases. -- Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat (2011 in Spirituality and Practice)


"As a teacher, I'm not interested in just reproducing class after class of graduates who will get out, become successful, and take their obedient places in the slots that society has prepared for them. What we must do--whether we teach or write or make films--is educate a new generation to do this very modest thing: change the world. (15)" ---Zinn, Howard. "Stories Hollywood Never Tells." The Sun #343 (July 2004): 12-15.

Even the Rain (Spain/Mexico/France: Icíar Bollaín, 2010: 103 mins)

"2000 Cochabamba protests." Wikipedia (No Date)

Benton, Michael Dean. " Even the Rain / También la lluvia directed by Icíar Bollaín." #Crucial21DbW (August 7, 2019)

Benton, Michael and Michael Marchman. "So Long, It's Been Good to Know You: Remembering Howard Zinn." North of Center (February 13, 2010)

Carter, Christopher. "Material Correspondences in Icíar Bollaín’s Even the Rain: Ambiguities of Substance." KB Journal 11.2 (Spring 2016)

Cilento, Fabrizio. "Even the Rain: A Confluence of Cinematic and Historical Temporalities." Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies Volume 16 (2012): 245-258.

Clarke, Terence. "También la Lluvia (Even the Rain)." Huffington Post (March 1, 2012)

The Corporation (Canada: Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott, 2003: 145 mins)

Finnegan, William. "Leasing the Rain: The world is running out of fresh water, and the fight to control it has begun." The New Yorker (April 8, 2002)

Flint Water Crisis (2014 - )

González, Jika. "Blurring the Past and Present." The Mantle (March 1, 2011)

Goodman, Amy. "Cochabamba, the Water Wars and Climate Change." Democracy Now (April 21, 2010)

"Howard Zinn: Historian/Playwright/Political Science." Dialogic (Ongoing archive of resources) [The film is dedicated to Howard Zinn and his history book A People's History of the United States is cited as an influence.]

Jaising, Shakti. "Cinema and Neoliberalism: Network Form and the Politics of Connection in Icíar Bollaín’s Even the Rain." Jump Cut #56 (Winter 2014/2015)

Kruse, Tom. "Images of the Cochabamba Water War." (February - April, 2000)

The Land Reform/Collectivization Debate (12 minutes and 20 seconds) from Land and Freedom (UK/Spain/Germany/Italy: Ken Loach, 1995: 109 mins) [Even the Rain director Iciar Bollain acts in this fiction film about the Spanish Civil War. Paul Laverty the screenwriter for Land and Freedom & Even the Rain states that this scene led to the historian Howard Zinn to contact him and send him a copy of A People's History of the United States. The book inspired Laverty to write the script for Even the Rain, which is dedicated to Howard Zinn.]

Laverty, Paul. "Film Even the Rain/Tambien La Lluvia Dedicated to Howard Zinn." Howard Zinn (February 5, 2011)

"Leasing the Rain." Frontline: World (June 2002)

Lester, Toby. "1507: The Name America Appears on a Map." A New Literary History of America. ed. Greil Marcus and Werner Sollors. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press, 2009: 1-5.[Your professor can get a copy]

Loewen, James. "1493: The True Importance of Christopher Columbus." Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong. NY: Touchstone, 2007: 31-69.

Mann, Charles. "1491." The Atlantic (March 2002)

Nava, Ebony. "ENG 282 Response to Even the Rain." Letterboxd (April 8, 2014)

Olivera, Marcela. "The Cochabamba Water Wars: On the Tenth Anniversary of the Popular Uprising Against Bechtel and the Privatization of the City’s Water Supply." Democracy Now (April 19, 2010)

Olivera, Oscar. "Bechtel’s Privatization of Rainwater and Why Evo Morales Should Remember the Ongoing Struggle Over Water." Democracy Now (October 5, 2010)

"Private Passions: The private sector has an important role to play in providing water services." The Economist (July 17, 2003)

Stone, Alan A. "Hello Columbus: Even the Rain." Boston Review (May/June 2001)

"Timeline: Cochabamba Water Revolt." Frontline World (June 2002)

Various Authors. "Essay 1: Columbus/Even the Rain." Otherness Revisited (This is the blog of the MA course Theory and Criticism 2011/2012 of the Literary Studies Department, University of Amsterdam.)

Walsh, David. "Even the Rain and the need for dealing with complexity." World Socialist Web Site (October 2010)

Zinn, Howard. "Columbus and the Lens of History." Howard Zinn (October 2, 2014)

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