Spanish film-makers arrive in Bolivia to shoot a picture about Columbus’ discovery of the New World, and his war on the native inhabitants. Midway through the film-making, a water war breaks out, and the film-makers discover to their horror that some of the locals they have hired to portray the Indians are ringleaders of the water protests. Panic ensues. The oh so-liberal film guys accuse the local government of exploiting the Indians just like Columbus did. “Oh,” says the local government official, “how much are you paying your actors?” No easy answers here. The locals endure, as they always have.
The film is fictional, but the water war portrayed here actually occurred in Cochabamba, Bolivia, about 15 years ago. The foreign consortium building a water delivery system tried to create a water monopoly, going so far as to even prohibit private collection of rain water — hence the title.
The cast of Spanish and Latin American actors is fantastic throughout, although only Gael Garcia Bernal will be familiar to American audiences.
Some violence, but most occurs offscreen. This is really a political film, and a thought-provoking one.
Available on DVD.