La nación clandestina

27 07 2011

The masterpiece of Bolivian filmmaker, Jorge Sanjinés. In this film, modernity and the traditional ways of the Aymara Indians in Bolivia clash and intermingle, creating a film that, while centered around one Aymara exile in La Paz, has as its real protagonist the Aymara people themselves. Sanjinés says that his film sought to deconstruct the idea of the modern narrative centering around the personal drama of one man. His film is rather about how one man has to overcome himself in order to re-integrate into the being of the community. In this case, his re-entrance into the community is only possible through a ritual in which he dances himself to death. In his walk back to the village, one sees the turmoil emerging all around him, and how his fate is indeed the fate of the entire, hidden nation. This film is about another, very different reaction towards modernity than the one we are accustomed to seeing, and the film can be found in its entirety on Youtube and in other places around the Net.

Many would also be interested in another Sanjinés film called Yawar Malku or Blood of the Condor, which is about forced sterilizations by Americans in an Aymara village. It basically ends (spoiler alert) by the indigeous people castrating the Americans in return (it is not shown, but the viewer well knows what happens). The feel-good, pro-life film of the year if you ask me.