- Title: PERU: 'The Milk of Sorrow' is screened in Andean town that inspired its plot
- Date: 8th March 2009
- Summary: MANCHAY, PERU (MARCH 05, 2009) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF TOWNSHIP (3 SHOTS)
- Reuters ID: LVABM543BR0D8EPT6TY044SHMT8S
- Location: Peru
- Country: Peru
- Duration: 00:00:05
- Topics: Entertainment
- Story Text: Breakout 33-year old director returns to the town featured in her movie about the Peruvian Civil War.
The Peruvian director of the 2009 Berlin Film Festival's Golden Bear award hosted a free screening Thursday (March 05) of her movie in the Andean town that inspired its plot.
It was less than a a year ago that Claudia Llosa, a 33-year old native of Lima, wrapped up the shooting for "The Milk of Sorrow" ("La Teta Asustada") in Manchay, an impoverished township located in the eastern outskirts of Lima, promising she would return once the project was finished.
The film features a town afflicted by an illness that is spread via lactating milk from women raped during Peru's two-decade civil war.
The militant Shining Path ("Sendero Luminoso") rebels violently overran large parts of Southern Peru in the 1980's under the banner of Maoist revolution, which provoked a vicious government backlash in the following decade aimed at restoring order.
The two decades of violence resulted in some 70,000 deaths.
Based on actual reactions to the violence - which Llosa learned about through studies conducted by US academics - the movie follows Fausta, her raped mother, and their experience with the "illness of fear."
Magaly Solier, who played Fausta, joined Llosa for a news conference at the screening.
Like 2008's Slumdog Millionaire, La Teta Asustada makes use of non-professional local actors and features local languages little known to the outside world, in this instance the indigenous Quechua is the mode of communication among leading characters.
Also like Slumdog, the movie was also shot on location in the 100,000 person township, making use of the area's humble homes.
"It (coming back to Manchay) means being able to share the movie with everyone, it means all of us being able to hug each other again, to give them (the actors) the certificate we've earned for having participated in this movie, it means sharing with them the success, because the success is also theirs, it means returning a gift that they gave us almost a year ago,"
In addition to recognizing all the actors with a certificate at the screening, town mayor Hugo Ramos also presented the director with a commemorative plaque.
Those on hand to watch the movie appreciated the spotlight on their experience.
"We are your countrymen, as we are from the (Andean) highlands. I identify with the lead character (Fausta, played by Magaly Solier)," said Raquel Soria.
"As a native of the valley of Manchay, I feel proud this movie is being shown here, and that it was filmed here," fellow townsperson Manuel Soria said.
The movie is currently on screen in 25 Spanish theatres, with plans for further international distribution.
It is also scheduled to compete in Mexico's Guadalajara International Film Festival, scheduled to begin on March 12.
The Golden Bear for Peru marks the first time a movie from a Latin American country other than Brazil has brought home the top award from Berlin since the festival began in 1952.
Brazilian films have won twice, most recently in 2008, when The Elite Squad (Tropa de Elite) that featured Rio de Janeiro police security sweeps in that city's famous favela slums was deemed last year's tops.
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