During Catholic Sisters Week, Catholic Sisters in Illinois are challenging themselves and others to abandon the use of single use plastic beverage bottles—and inviting everyone to watch an award-winning film that demonstrates the connection between plastic waste, racism, migration, and climate change.
Even the Rain/También la Lluvia, now streaming on Netflix is a Mexican film issued in 2010. It tells the story of two filmmakers, Sebastián and Costa, who travel to Cochabamba, Bolivia in 2000 to make a movie about the truth behind Columbus’ arrival in the new world and Spanish exploitation of the Indians. Ironically, the crew is filming in Bolivia—the Americas’ most indigenous nation—because everything will be cheaper there. By coincidence, they arrive in Cochabamba amidst demonstrations against the Bolivian government’s acquiescence to water privatization. Sebastián gives the lead role of the film to native actor Daniel. Cast as Atuey, the leader of the indigenous revolt against Columbus, Daniel is meanwhile leading the demonstrations. The story mixes the Spanish crown’s exploitation of gold in the 16th century with the fight for water in Cochabamba in the year 2000.
If you’d like to join the sisters in their celebration and learn along with them, why not host your own watch party at home? Here are some questions for discussion after the film.
- The film portrays the lasting impacts of colonialism on native people. What did you notice about colonialism at the time of Columbus and how it continues to impact the people today?
- The film is about the exploitation of people 500 years ago and today. What did you notice about the exploitation of the native peoples in Sebastian and Costa’s film-making effort?
- As viewers we often want to be able to identify the “good guy” and the “bad guy” but the reality is that humans are far more complicated than that. Did actors in the story contradict any of the beliefs about colonialism that they espoused during the film? Did any of them realize how they themselves perpetuated the attitude and actions of colonialism?
- The title Even the Rain refers to the notion that even catching rainwater would be illegal. Who owns the rain? “Water is Life.” What do you know about the issue of privatization of water?