The room was visibly humid. And the audience of almost 200 students made the air thicker. Amongst the impromptu screening room mobiles occasionally flashed on, flickering like lightning bugs cutting through muggy New Jersey evenings. As classmates chattered about the room’s putrid smell and how ordering pizza sounded fantastic.
The University of Arizona’s Spanish & Portuguese Cine Club will screen six free films this semester, and También la lluvia starring Cassandra Ciangherotti, Luis Tosar and Gael García Bernal was the latest show. The movie follows a film crew shooting an unflattering take on Christopher Columbus, while local control over Cochabamba’s water supply pushes the Bolivian city to its brink.
Even though most Spanish language films contain rich Christian overtones with a heightened sense of melodrama the graceful delivery pulses attractively. It’s the genre that makes an audience hope the film was based on a novel, a sequel has been funded or a few more minutes of celluloid will continue the shadow play.
Sometimes happenstance reminds you what side of history feels best. Occasionally forced participation can place the undying reign of political corruption in perspective. Since our dawn, tyrants have continually wielded power over the disenfranchised — mining precious stones with slavery, turning open information into treason or swelling political strife from rainwater.
Art has the tendency to mimic life, usually in real time. Tonight, Tucson’s clouds are rinsing its desert landscape, washing away the excess heat. Sadly, only the rain can baptize some lost souls, the selfish who choose to oppress or extort the venerable. That type of political corruption has always been present. But choosing between sharing what we have, or coveting Even The Rain will determine the impact of our legacy.