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BLOOD OF THE CONDOR
SPECTACLE THEATER
Brooklyn, NY
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Event

BLOOD OF THE CONDOR
(aka YAWAR MALLKU)
Jorge Sanjines, (1969)
BOLIVIA, 70 minutes
In Quechua, English, and Spanish with English Subtitles

Ignacio, the tragic hero of Jorge Sajines's first film, was a perfect stand-in for the utterly impotent situation Bolivia's indigenous population faced in the 1960's. When his wife's third consecutive pregnancy terminates, he is driven into a rage, and she is the target. A series of flashbacks and flash forwards shows more violence in every direction. We soon find out the reason for all of it is the sketchy, but outwardly well-meaning American aid workers who recently appeared in the village.

Inspired by anti-Imperialist Marxism and new wave European cinema, this was the first feature of Sanjines, who would become one of Bolivia's most awarded directors and a central figure in Latin Americas "Third Cinema" movement. The heavy-handed villainy of the Progress Corps gringos and the obedient facilitation of their schemes against the indigenous population by Bolivian authorities represents a political cosmology that radiates through the history of post-Colonial South America.

Sanjines worked with native actors and audiences alike, designing the film to be watched in indigenous communities that were not yet familiar with cinema. The results were mixed, as many did not understand narrative motifs such as the flashback sequences. Overall, the film was influential enough that repelling Peace Corps volunteers became a cause of cultural autonomism, and they were expelled altogether in 1971. Although it's unlikely the Peace Corps was running a sterilization program, the history of condescension, instrumentalisation, and exploitation of indigenous people made the allegations ring true. Their very presence, along with the self-congratulatory Western doctor character, were symptomatic of an all-pervasive imperialist influence, alluded to by use of rock music and the culturally assimilated but still helplessly subservient Sixto, ensuring repressive hierarchies, and the violence inherent within them, remain firmly in place at every level.

Location

SPECTACLE THEATER (View)
124 South 3rd Street
Brooklyn, NY 11249
United States


Categories

None

Kid Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: No

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