Debates in Latin American Social Theory

Asynchronous Assignment on Even the Rain

While making a film about the incursion of Christopher Columbus in the Caribbean, a Mexican director, and a Spanish producer find the Bolivian indigenous people protesting contemporary exploitation and claiming the rights to water and ultimately dignity and survival.


Watch Even the Rain (Icíar Bollaín, 2011) and choose ONE prompt. Post your answer in the comment section down below. 200-word minimum. The deadline is 4/6 before the class. 

If you do not have access to Netflix you can rent it on iTunes.


The Cochabamba natives understand that water is sacred and a human right. How does the film Even the Rain showcase these notions?


Discussing at least two scenes, answer this question:

.How does the film crew WITHIN the film reproduces the same colonial mentalities and practices they are representing in their Christopher Columbus movie?


Discussing at least two scenes, answer this question:

.How does the contemporary issue of access to water connects to the Taino people’s resistance in the Caribbean?


Respectfully interact with ONE of your classmates’ responses. Do you agree with their arguments and interpretations? Do you disagree? What other observations about Even the Rain do you want to bring into the discussion?

9 thoughts on “Asynchronous Assignment on Even the Rain”

  1. “We dug this well with our own hands so our children could drink water. You’ve got no right to close the well! How can we live with dirty water?” (Scene 23:19-23:30). In this scene, women fight the soldiers because they close the well. The town does not have clean water, so they made the well with their own hands to give the children clean water, but the soldiers also took that away. The soldiers did not budge despite the mother fighting them. This scene is significantly important because everyone needs clean water to survive, and without it, children and adults would dehydrate and die.

  2. Water is essential for humans to survive and without the government helping the Cochamba natives have access to this essential, the community came together and created a way to provide water for their families. When discussing if they should protest or not a lot of people wanted to fight because people were tired of having to fight for a necessity that the government aint providing. By looking at how the film is being created we see how it truly was with people being treated as something less than human. I think it really makes us question how much are people going to take from these natives to ultimately exploit them. The filming of the movie and the protest happening at the same time highlight how the community stayed together.

  3. In the film Even the Rain, there are various examples that show how the Cochabamba natives understand water to be sacred and a human right. As the movie progresses, we learn that the Cochabamba have to travel long distances to create wells for their community to have access to water. As they are explaining this to the film crew, the water company drives up with the intention of closing off their well so that the natives have to pay for their water. This upsets the natives, and in this first scene they scare off the truck. In the following scene, the women gather around the well as the company tries to close off the well and begin to protest the company’s actions. They state that they need the water for their kids, ask how they expect their children to survive, and state that the water is for everyone. For the rest of the film, we watch as the natives fight for their water, as they understand that it is a necessity, and without it they won’t survive. Their gatherings show how passionate they are about the cause, and even when offered a large amount of money, Daniel still attends protests because he understands the value of water to his community. The community is able to come together as a whole to demand water be accessible for all, as it is a necessity and within their rights.

  4. Cochabamba natives have every reason to believe that water is a human right and sacred, especially when they are accessing water themselves. In the film, Cochabamba natives have expressed that the government took their land, their water and even the rain water. One native asked “How can you take the rain?” In one scene, government workers come into their community to shut down their well that they built with their own hands and time to have access to clean water. It enraged the women and you hear them say “This water is for our children.” They emphasize that this well is their own considering no one is going to help them so they took matters into their own hands. The natives feel they are being exploited and denied their rights.

  5. Playing Their Game
    Options 2: The beginning of the movie foreshadows an expletive relationship with the native people and the land
    They fully disregard people’s time who entered into the casting until one of the natives revolts and demands they be taken seriously for their time He claims some people have traveled far to even be casted. As the movie progresses we discover that the producers and directors are paying $2 per person just as the politician says he is paying them the same amount as a working wage. The directors, main actors, and producers have a different set experience then the idigenous communities
    They also fully plan a negotiation with the governor where they try to create a plan with these communities to let go a land that has provided them water, a basic human right in their communities
    When they rebel they are met with even harder acquisitions and are placed in position where once again they are left to survive
    A lack of education leads to exploitation These indignous communities can create their own systems where they engage in their own form of schooling and access to resources They plant and cultivate their own food They unite their own wages and seek land that offers water sources and cultivate their own land They focus on creating their form of civilization where people become doctors, and other professions I would also negotiate with them. We won’t give you the land, but we will work on it to produce a global water company like Poland springs.There dirty business men and the only way you can do business with a dirty business man is to pretend your working with them, while go against them

  6. The movie “Even the rain” presents people from Cochabamba who have put their faith in themselves to preserve water. As shown in the movie, Cochabambas have to do extra actions to obtain water for their daily needs. An impressive point is the fact that Cochabamba natives have worked hard to create means to obtain water as easily as possible. They had to create wells which have connected water and people as only one mechanism for their survival. Wells were considered as a survival tool for Cochabamba natives as these provide one fundamental liquid for humans. The movie also shows the cruel reality of Cochabamba children who have to grow up fighting along with their parents to keep their right to have water. Unfortunately, the government is considering Cochabambas as not humans because they think that Cochabambas have to pay or not have water while people from different social statuses have access to water easily. There is also a sense of human exploitation because there’s an idea of Cochabamba having to work extra to obtain what’s to be given as a right.

    1. Hey Daysi,
      I agree the Cochabamba had to deal with may things in order to have the will and strength to preserve the water. Despite the government not doing anything to provide essentials for the Cochamba natives, they were able to overcome such conditions and come together as one in order to provide the much needed water to the the rest of the families. We see how inhumane the government was towards them, and how they constantly dealt with the question of fighting/rebeling against the government or not, running out of patience on such things.

  7. In the film, Even the Rain, we are presented with an a-film-within-a-film. A film crew in Bolivia to shoot a movie about Christopher Columbus and the Spanish colonization of Taino peoples. From the beginning, Even the Rain gives us insight into the impacts of colonialism then and now, not only in the exposition of the film being made but in the realities of the Cochabamba Water War, Yaku, that was going on in the native and poverty-stricken communities in Bolivia at the turn of the 21st century. The newest assertion of colonialism, neoliberalism had brought privatization of water to Bolivia eliminating public access or rights to water by its citizens. Private companies from California and London marked up the cost of water to Bolivians by 300% and it became illegal to even collect rainwater. Yaku (water) is life and vitality – a necessity for living, one that is provided freely by nature and yet the Quechua people of Bolivia were being deprived of what is naturally theirs by modern-day colonizers that are there to make a profit, off of their ecology.

    Speaking of colonizers, like Colon and his fleet, the film producer, Costa and his crew have traveled from Spain to shoot the film, being financed by Hollywood investors, in Bolivia. They chose this area in Bolivia instead of shooting on-location in the Caribbean because there were little to no regulations imposed on the production, extras and local work crews could be paid as little as 2$ a day, which was the minimum wage in Bolivia at that time. Also, they benefited from a community of Natives or Quechua people in Bolivia; to the comment that Taino’s were not the same as Quechua Sebastian, the Director “they are all the same”. This is an important moment to note that this is and continues to be an effect of colonial mentality, anyone who is not European is “other” and others are all the same; also “others” can be exploited to serve the better interest of whiteness.

    In a moment where both moments collide Daniel, who has been cast as the Taino Cacique Hatuey, because the director admired his leadership instincts, was indeed a leader to his Quechua leader and during protests was beaten and arrested by police. This did not serve the interests of the Spanish film crew and so they finally took an interest in the situation and offered Daniel, money to “stay out of trouble” until the filming has wrapped. To this Daniel responds, don’t you understand? Without water, there is no life. In this moment Daniel embodied the spirit of Hatuey, who spoke out to Colon and the Spaniards as only caring about gold/money and not truly valuing life or morals, just cowards protecting themselves from nature with armor.

    Towards the end there is a lot of symmetrical symbolism in the scenes where Costa goes back to help Daniel’s family – we see blood-thirsty dog’s hunting down the Natives, and even a hypocritical priest blessing the empty, destroyed streets once all has been said and done. In the final scene, Costa is looking at storyboards from the film and realizes just how much symmetry there is between what he portrayed as the effects of colonialism in his film and the actual effect of colonialism he had just witnessed on the streets of Cochabamba. We see how colonization, euromodernity, globalization, neoliberalism all just serve the same purpose to disrupt and exploit native ecologies for profit, even the water.

  8. In my opinion water anywhere in Latin America is sacred and a human right. I feel like this because whenever I am in Mexico it is either i have to buy a gallon of water or I have to heat up my water if I need to shower in warm water. There are different ways each country filters their water so for a country to deny people water it is outrageous. Since they get no assistance from the government because the government thinks everyone has to pay for water and the Cochabamba is not recognized by the government so there is absolutely no support for the indigenous there. Throughout the film we see that the Cochabamba built their own water well that connects to water and everyone has u tied to gain water from the well. As this being their only water resource they had to do everything for nobody to find out until the government did and shut it down. That was the start of the war for a human necessity.

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