Eldorado XXI

  • Directed by Salomé Lamas
  • Portugal/France, 2016, 125 mins., Spanish/Quechua/Aymara

Set at 18,000 feet in the Peruvian Andes and focused on a community of exploited miners in the small village of La Rinconada, Lamas’s probing and uniquely-structured film questions both the means and the ends of material extraction—from both the earth and from the people who do the work. In the aural collage of the film’s first half, troubling personal testimony intermingles with the “official word,” creating a subtle cacophony of conflict. Later, scenes of intense natural beauty in the highest human settlement in the world are complicated by the presence of brutal manual labor, but in the end Lamas’s searching work has a profound empathy written all over it.

Reviews: Sight & Sound, MUBI Notebook (first review), Desistfilm, Cinema Scope, Brooklyn Magazine (halfway down)

Interviews: Interview with Salomé Lamas at MUBI Notebook

Filmography: Terra de ninguém (2012)