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CPH PIX Copenhagen Film Festivals

CPH PIX is Denmark's new feature film festival. Launched in 2009 as the result of the merger between the city's two long-running festivals the Copenhagen International Film Festival and the Natfilm Festiva, it instantly became the biggest festival in the Danish capital ever.

CPH PIX focus on new talents, new ideas, new trends and artistic courage, both in the festival's film programme and in its collaborations across artistic genres and cultural institutions

CPH PIX also host COPENHAGEN FILM MARKET in September.

CPH PIX is part of COPENHAGEN FILM FESTIVALS which also house BUSTER (children and youth films) and CPH:DOX (documentaries). 


EVEN THE RAIN, with Juan Carlos Aduviri

EVEN THE RAIN (Spain, 2010) screens at Copenhagen Film Festival 2011. 


EVEN THE RAIN was directed by Iciar Bollaín and written by award winning
screenwriter Paul Laverty. The film takes place in the village of
Cochabamba, Bolivia, in 2000. The premise was to make an epic film about
Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas. It is a fiction film in
the style of a documentary about this film crew and its director,
Sebastián (Gael García Bernal), and his producer (Luis Tosar) as they
attempt to show Columbus, exploiter of the indigenous people of Bolivia.
More than just a film about a film, EVEN THE RAIN depicts a world still
thriving under the effects of post-Columbian exploitation over 500
years later. While the filming of the Columbus movie takes place, the
director and producer audition hundreds of locals to play the parts of
the main characters of the fiction film to be shot, and amidst all of
this, the Bolivian Water War (which took place in 2000) breaks out with
thousands of locals rebelling against American corporate privatization
of the Bolivian water supply.


In an interview with Juan Carlos Aduviri, actor from EVEN THE RAIN
(2010), this year’s Oscar entry for Spain, I sat with Juan Carlos at the
closing party in Istanbul during the 30th IFF. Although we were already
happy (from the party) and he spoke in Bolivian Spanish and me in
English, we understood each other somehow :-).


ME: So, Juan Carlos. It’s a pleasure to be talking to you amidst the
carousing at this closing party. Can you start by telling our readers
about your film? It’s almost like a documentary and a fiction together


JC: Look, it’s easy. In the visual technics this film looks like it’s a
fiction but it’s more than a fiction film; it’s a projection based on
all the zones of the city of Cochabamba and about the people who fight
for survival and who live in this moment in Bolivia. These people
decided, ‘this isn’t a documentary, this is a fiction’ because I saw in
the country there exactly how the life is in reality. We take gas, fuel
and killed one of our brothers. This is what I saw in the film. This is
the reality. I learned a lot being in this because the people saw me
acting in this film and asked, ‘who really is the protagonist of this
film?’, because in the year 2000, these people also came out to read to
act in the film, and they said: ‘this is not a film of fiction. This is a
documentary’ because they understood the past? So, I don’t catalogue. I
don’t classify like a fiction. In my opinion this is a documentary.


ME: This is an interesting subject because there are more and more films
coming out today which are mixing this genre of documentary and
fiction, blurring the borders of what we have tried to classify as
‘truth’ versus ‘fiction’. So, you have some documentaries which are
manipulated and some fiction films which are more truth than fiction.
What can you say about this and EVEN THE RAIN mixing these genres?


JC: When I saw the theme of the film would be filmed as a fiction I
didn’t see the difference. It was exactly how I saw things. The whole
group working on the film was very patient, very careful and the subject
was very well studied. For this, I didn’t see a fiction I saw this as
reality and about the people of Cochabamba who are represented in this
fight. In the film, the only thing that I saw as fiction is the
character of Gabriel Garcia Bernal and Luis Tosar. They are fiction but
the person that I interpret in the Bolivian history, many people look
like ‘Daniels’ who have organized this village who have had to overcome
oppressors. In the film the only person who is not a fiction is Daniel
because Daniel represents the whole history of Bolivia. For this, when
the people say, ‘this is a documentary film, not a fiction’, that’s
exactly what I want them to see.


ME: So, how did you get this role?


JC: I am not from the city in the film, Cochabamba. I am from the city
El Alto that is in the region of Cochabamba. We had a grand
responsibility to represent the people of Cochabamba because the
characters of these people are very specific. When we screened the film
in Europe I was tranquil because I know that the people would see an
emotional and historic film. But I was more worried about seeing the
film in Bolivia among the people there because being an actor of this
film and having worked on it, it worried me that the Bolivian people
would feel they were not well represented in the film but actually in
Bolivia, you have lines and lines of people who are lining up outside
the cinema to see this film. So I understood that the people accepted in
a grand mode that this work is about them and for them. They forget
about the acting and the directing of the film. For this, I consider the
director a grand human being to understand these people and the great
feat to confront the problems of the region. This was grand. This was a
great talent.


ME: Can you speak about how this film came into being and how the story was first realized?


JC: This was a grand obligation to the Bolivian people. First, Paul
Laverty, the writer of the film, had dedicated more than two years of
his life living in Bolivia, investigating, studying Bolivia. When the
director came on board he came to do the same thing. He came to Bolivia
to investigate, to see the people who live this fight. When he
understood more about what Bolivia signifies, he thought about how to
make this film. They wanted to make a film about the real Bolivia.
Bolivia and cinema in Bolivia is very lacking in economic resources so
it’s very difficult to have cinema there. But, Paul Laverty and Iciar
Bollain had understood the Bolivian history. Paul Laverty who wrote the
screenplay of the film THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY (2006), an
extraordinary film which won a prize at Cannes in 2006, he understands
and dedicates himself to the social problems. When he wrote this script
he did so in such an extraordinary manner, he is one who can feel pride
for the human race. In all of the hypocrisy of human beings, there are a
few who still have the hope and belief in the human race. Paul Laverty
is one of those people who understood that it isn’t important what color
you are, what social conditions you live in… If you are a human being
we all speak in the same language. This is profound that he has the
sensibility to write a story that is universal that people from all
around the world can understand and be touched by.


ME: Beautifully put! Thank you! Is there anything else you would like to say about the film, about what it means to you?


JC: All of Latin America, especially Bolivia, has undergone 500 years of
slavery, 500 years of bad treatment, 500 years of being treated like
ignorant people, thieves, of liars and stupid. Actually, in Bolivia
there is a lot of poverty. We are a colony with a lot of poverty but the
colony is coming out. It’s a good time but not physically but mentally.
Latin America, like in Bolivia, you have many countries in Latin
America which are very poor. But the paradox is that the music in Latin
America, the natural resources, the culture and the people are super
rich. But the people are still very poor after 500 years of slavery and
must also change here [and he pointed to his head]. The people now need
to change mentally. I came from one of the lowest classes of Bolivia. I
was the son of a minor and a countrywoman. To be here coming from such a
low class to be here now in Istanbul. This is a dream I never would
have imagined. Like I was in Madrid, in Paris, etc. So, I think of
myself being a son of a minor and of a countrywoman and ask myself, ‘Who
am I? Where do I come from? Where am I going?’ I can never forget this.
I think about how in Bolivia and in Latin America we has a great
potential to be one of the most richest lands of the world because of
the riches that we have.


ME: This is incredible. Can you tell us more about where you came from and where you hope to go?


JC: I am Aymara of the Aymaras. They are great extraordinary as a race,
in culture, in traditions like the Japanses, Arabs, Hindu, North
Americans, etc. In the Aymaras we are like other cultures. We are the
same as any other people in the world, without all of the poverty and
all of the social problems, we are just like any other culture. The day
that I can say, ‘I am as equal as, no better or worse than another
person who is in South Africa, for example’. This idea is what I want
for the new world, equality. I dream in my work every day to make a
cinema in Bolivia (because I work in the free public film school for
those who don’t have opportunities to work in other film schools) I
dream for there to be a place for cinema in Bolivia, away from the
politics. I have the security in my heart that cinema can make our
dreams come true, that we are all equal, that we are all brothers. We
all speak the same language and that we are all brothers. And cinema is
so universal that we can achieve this dream.


ME: perfect! Wow! Juan Carlos, I hope also for this dream. Thank you so
much for your passion and inspiration and please don’t stop acting… and


JC: [laughs] Actually, I went to film school and studied to be a
director and here I am representing a film where I play as an actor.
Film is like this!


ME: Indeed, cinema is grand and very strange like this. Universal and
very paradoxical. Thanks Juan Carlos. Now, let’s go join the party and
celebrate your recent success.


Interview by Vanessa McMahon, April 24, 2011


Juan Carlos and Ahmed Abdallah

photo by Vanessa McMahon, at CPHPIX

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About CPH PIX Copenhagen Film Festivals