Even the Rain: Sketches of Spanish Agitprop
Right from the start, when its dedication to the memory of Howard Zinn flashes on the screen, a new Spanish celluloid import wears its anti-capitalism on its sleeve.
February 26, 2011 - 11:28 pm
Bollain lets us see snippets from the film in progress without a filter. There’s no camera shown capturing the action or other hints that this is a film shoot. That gives the scenes more power — and more ways to reinforces Rain’s ideological bent.
“We will enslave you … and do as much harm as we can” the film’s Columbus warns the natives in one early sequence.
Yet Even the Rain acknowledges how films like this can work on several levels, an awareness many left-wing films lack.
“This isn’t art. It’s pure propaganda,” says the actor playing Christopher Columbus in Sebastion’s film during a heated dinner conversation centered on the movie’s politics.
Often in ideologically driven films the “bad guys” aren’t allowed to speak coherently. They exist simply to let the hero appear noble by comparison. Here, one of the local officials explains the pro-privatization position without being made to look foolish.
Even the Rain shrewdly doesn’t deify the locals. When a water company car drives past them and stops, a group of angry citizens trashes it without mercy. And Daniel is far from a saint. He’s stubborn, unfriendly, and single-minded. And he uses the film’s crew with impunity.
Zinn would surely be pleased by Even the Rain. But the film’s bald ideological currents cannot overshadow the story playing out within that context.