April 06, 2011

Bridenstine reviews Even the Rain

Blogger Stephen Bridenstine reviews the film I covered in NY Times Reviews Even the Rain:

When Cultures Collide:  Even the Rain Film ReviewIn the hands of less experienced filmmakers, Even the Rain could easily have turned into an overly preachy, hit-you-over-the-head metaphoric tale about the brutal legacy of colonialism. The film makes it absolutely clear that there was and still is great injustice in this "New World." What isn't clear is just what exactly are the protagonists going to do. Finish the film about the historic oppression to only turn a blind eye to the modern injustice or dare to get involved in a very real and deadly conflict? It is this ambiguity and the subtle and smart ways it goes about answering these questions where the film succeeds.

Few films dare to tackle both the egotistical, money-driven world of modern filmmaking and the high drama of humanity fighting for its most basic rights. Even the Rain does just that. The result is a work whose message is so abundantly clear yet it is so downright gripping to see it unfold.
And:Even the Rain does something unique. Most films about the indigenous people of the Americas are either costume dramas set in a clearly historic past (The Mission, Dances with Wolves) or they are modern pieces about the realities of indigenous life today (Smoke Signals, Frozen River).

Even the Rain deftly combines these two cinematic genres to create some of the most poignant commentary yet seen on film about the enduring tensions between Native and non-Native people.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies.

1 comment:

Rob said...

A less glowing review:


'Even the Rain' fails in earnest attempt to expose injustices

Ms. Bollain manages the demonstration scenes very effectively, but fails to bring the same intensity to the more intimate moments as Costa transforms from a merciless bean-counter to a sympathetic guy risking his life in the rebel cause. She allows the more famous Mr. Garcia Bernal to mail in most of his scenes.

As for the legendary priests, the actors Carlos Santos and Raul Arevalo barely make an impression, while Karra Elejaide as the actor playing Columbus serves his character up as an uninvolved drunk.

We must recognize the honorable intentions of "Even the Rain" in its well-meaning attempt to discuss the miscarriages of justice in Latin America. But the film's mechanics often don't mesh with its purposes.