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Even the rain

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Even the rain

Even the Rain
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Icíar Bollaín
Produced by Juan Gordon
Pilar Benito
Eric Altmayer
Monica Lozano Serrano
Emma Lustres
Written by Paul Laverty
Screenplay by Paul Laverty
Starring Luis Tosar
Gael García Bernal
Juan Carlos Aduviri
Karra Elejalde
Raúl Arévalo
Music by Alberto Iglesias
Cinematography Alex Catalán
Editing by Ángel Hernández Zoido
Studio Morena Films
Alebrije Cine y Video
Mandarin Cinema
Distributed by Vitagraph Films
Release date(s)
Running time 104 minutes
Country Spain
Language Spanish
Box office $558,342 (USA)

Even the Rain (Spanish: También la lluvia) is a 2010 Spanish drama film directed by Icíar Bollaín about Mexican director Sebastián (Gael García Bernal) and executive producer Costa (Luis Tosar) who travel to Bolivia to shoot a film depicting Christopher Columbus’s conquest. Sebastián and Costa unexpectedly land themselves in a moral crisis when they and their crew arrive at Cochabamba, Bolivia, during the intensifying 2000 Cochabamba protests, which their key native actor Daniel (Juan Carlos Aduviri) persistently leads. The film was directed by Icíar Bollaín, based on a screenplay by Paul Laverty.

The film received nominations and won awards internationally, including an Ariel Award for Best Ibero-American Film and three Goya Awards, one of which was Best Original Score for the work of Alberto Iglesias. Additionally, the film was nominated as Spain’s entry for the 2011 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.


Mexican filmmaker Sebastián (Gael García Bernal) and his executive producer Costa (Luis Tosar) arrive in Cochabamba, Bolivia, accompanied by a cast and crew, prepared to create a film depicting Columbus's first voyage to the New World, the imposition of Columbus’ will upon the natives, and the subsequent indigenous rebellion. Cognizant of his limited budget, producer Costa (Luis Tosar) elects to film in Bolivia, the poorest country in South America. There, impoverished locals are thrilled to earn just two dollars a day as extras in the film, and willingly engage in physical labor for set preparation. Costa saves many thousands of dollars by having underpaid extras perform tasks meant to be completed by experienced engineers.

Sebastián casts a local man named Daniel (Juan Carlos Aduviri) in the role of Atuey, the Taíno chief who led a rebellion against the Europeans; and Daniel's daughter Belén in a crucial role as well. At that time, although their first encounter with Daniel smelled like trouble to Costa, enough to oppose his casting, Sebastián is unaware that Daniel leads impassioned demonstrations against the water privatization that the Bolivian government had agreed to. Filming begins smoothly despite the alcoholism of actor Antón, (Karra Elejalde) cast as Colón (Columbus), but when Costa observes Daniel’s revolutionary involvement, he grows uneasy. Daniel pretends to acquiesce to Costa's insistence that he stop protesting, but heedlessly continues and sustains facial wounds in a clash with the police. At this point, Costa bribes Daniel with thousands of dollars to wait for filming to conclude before participating in the rebellion again. Daniel agrees, accepting the money, but remains active in the protests, eventually becoming bloodied and imprisoned. Sebastián experiences moral conflict and begins to doubt the likelihood of the film’s completion, but is reassured by Costa who bribes the police for Daniel’s temporary release in order to film a key movie scene. Upon this scene’s completion, police arrive in the Bolivian jungle to once again detain Daniel but are besieged by the film’s extras and Daniel escapes.

That night when starring actors Juan and Alberto see the latest news reports showing war-like violence in Cochabamba, they become worried to the extent that they demand to leave. Sebastián begs that they stay and they hesitantly agree. The next day, as the cast and crew prepare to depart for filming, Costa is met by Daniel’s wife, Teresa, who desperately implores him to assist her in finding her daughter Belén, who has disappeared into the protests and is reportedly wounded and needing hospitalization. Teresa’s persistence wins over Costa’s conscience, despite Sebastián's equally impassioned insistence he leave for the airport and safety with the rest of the cast and crew. After Costa and Teresa's obstacle-laden drive through riotous Cochabamba, Belén’s life is preserved, but her leg does not fully heal. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew is stopped by a military blockade and all except Antón leave Sebastián to journey home. The revolution ends shortly thereafter with the departure of the multinational water company, but Cochabamba is left in ruin from the conflict. Costa expresses hope that the film will be finished after all, and Daniel emotionally presents him with a vial of Bolivian water in appreciation for his life-saving efforts.


  • Luis Tosar as Costa, executive producer in the movie
  • Gael García Bernal as Sebastián, director in the movie
  • Juan Carlos Aduviri as Daniel, Bolivian native cast as Atuey
  • Karra Elejalde as Antón, alcoholic Spanish actor cast as Colón
  • Raúl Arévalo as Juan, Spanish actor cast as Montesinos
  • Carlos Santos as Alberto, Spanish actor cast as Las Casas
  • Cassandra Ciangherotti as María, assistant director to Sebastián
  • Milena Soliz as Belén, Daniel’s daughter cast as Panuca in the movie
  • Leónidas Chiri as Teresa, Bolivian native and Daniel’s wife


The film premiered on September 16, 2010, at the Toronto International Film Festival, then debuted during October of the same year in the USA (Los Angeles, California); Britain (London Film Festival); and Spain (Valladolid Film Festival).[1] It made its French debut at the Les Arcs International Film Festival in December 2010.[1] It was screened in the Main Programme of the Panorama section at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival and additionally during the 2011 Sydney Film Festival.[2] After special screenings in Cochabamba's Southern Zone and for the Bolivian press, it opened in Bolivia on twelve screens on March 17, 2011.[3]



Academy Award Entry

The film was selected in September 2010 over Daniel Monzón’s Cell 211 which also stars Luis Tosar, as the Spanish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 83rd Academy Awards.[4] In January 2011, it landed a spot on the list of the top nine films in its category.[5] However, it was not selected to be among the final five films nominated for the Oscar.

Ariel Awards

Berlin International Film Festival

  • Panorama Audience Award, Fiction Film

Cinema Writers Circle Awards

  • Best Actor (Luis Tosar)
  • Best Editing (Ángel Hernández Zoido)

European Film Awards Nomination

  • Audience Award, Best Film

Goya Awards

  • Best Original Score (Alberto Iglesias)
  • Best Production Supervision (Cristina Zumárraga)
  • Best Supporting Actor (Karra Elejalde)
  • Best Actor (Luis Tosar)
  • Best Costume Design (Sonia Grande)
  • Best Director (Icíar Bollaín)
  • Best Editing (Ángel Hernández Zoido)
  • Best Film (Juan Gordon)
  • Best Make-Up and Hairstyles (Karmele Soler & Paco Rodríguez)
  • Best New Actor (Juan Carlos Aduviri)
  • Best Original Screenplay (Paul Laverty)
  • Best Sound (Nacho Royo, Emilio Cortés, & Pelayo Gutiérrez)
  • Best Special Effects (Gustavo Harry Farias & Juan Manuel Nogales)

Palm Springs International Film Festival

  • Bridging the Borders Award

Latin ACE Awards

Spanish Music Awards

Critical Response

The film received generally positive reviews, earning an 88% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but some critics pointed out potential hypocrisy as a shortcoming.[6] Roger Ebert admires the filmmakers’ courage in choosing the Bolivian water crisis as subject matter, but notes potential hypocrisy, writing, “…at the end I looked in vain for a credit saying, ‘No extras were underpaid in the making of this film.’”[7] New York Times writer Stephen Holden also raises this concern, asserting, “You can’t help but wonder to what degree its makers exploited the extras recruited to play 16th-century Indians.”[8] Also, Holden addresses Costa’s transformation, writing, “Mr. Tosar goes as far as he can to make the character’s change of heart believable, but he can’t accomplish the impossible.”[8] Contrarily, Marshall Fine of the Huffington Post views Tosar’s efforts as praiseworthy, calling him “perfect as the producer: bull-headed, charming, conniving and wheedling when he needs to be – but a man with a vision, who ultimately gets his mind changed. Tosar makes his conflict not only credible but palpable.”[9] Praising the film overall, Ann Hornaday of the Washington Post calls Even the Rain “a story in which personal connections can transcend even the most crushing structures of history and politics.”[10]

Bolivian water crisis


From the 1950s through the 1980s, Bolivia attempted unsuccessfully to curb poverty through “structuralist” measures: Government regulation and nationalisation.[11] As a result, the nation acquired a reputation for ineffective self-management and, accordingly, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund encouraged the Bolivian government to privatise some industries.[11] Thus, the Bolivian government privatised some of its water utilities. The sole bidder for the Cochabamba water agency, Aguas del Tunari, a subsidiary of San Francisco-based Bechtel Corporation, agreed to a forty-year contract with the Bolivian government in October 1999; but it was compelled to fund the mayor's pet project, an expensive dam, so prices increased. This was followed by widespread protests.[12]

Further viewing

  • The Big Sellout (2007) directed by Florian Opitz
  • Blue Gold: World Water Wars (2008) directed by Sam Bozzo
  • Rivers of Men (Spanish: Ríos de Hombres) (2011) directed by Tin Dirdamal

Further reading

  • BBC in April 2000
  • The New Yorker
  • Public Citizen
  • “The Politics of Water” in Bolivia by Jim Shultz in January 2005 for The Nation
  • “Return to Cochabamba,” a 2008 report by Jean Friedman-Rudovsky on post-revolutionary Bolivia
  • Oscar Olivera in collaboration with Tom Lewis

See also


External links

  • Official Even the Rain website
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Rotten Tomatoes
  • indieWIRE
  • The Mantle
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