NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Several non-profit organizations are teaming up to host a free screening the award-winning "También la lluvia" (”Even the Rain”), a Spanish language film exploring the twin forces of water privatization and colonialism in Bolivia.
The screening will be held Wednesday, August 19 at 6:30 p.m. at Unity Square Community Center at 81 Remsen Avenue, followed by a bilingual discussion.
Directed by Icíar Bollaín and starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Luis Tosar, the film is set during the 2000 Cochabamba protests in Bolivia, known as the “Water War.”
Bollaín’s film sets Bernal and Tosar’s characters in the middle of this conflict, as they try to make a film about Columbus’ 16th century conquest of the area.
Spurred by the privatization of water in Cochabamba, Bolivia, thousands of civilians protested, starting in January of 2000.
Their protests were met with violence and arrests and clashes between civilians and police forces continued caused Bolivia to declare a state of emergency.
Sponsors of the event include Food & Water, Unity Square, New Labor, and the Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership, each of which has a home base in New Brunswick.
Representatives from Food & Water Watch and Unity Square will lead discussions in Spanish and English after the film, focusing on the ongoing water privatization fight in New Brunswick.
The film screening and discussion are free and open to the public.
"The issue of corporate control of our water depicted in the film all too closely relates to water privatization fights across the U.S. — even right here in New Brunswick" states Rita Yelda, Senior Organizer at Food & Water Watch.
"The city needs responsible public management and operation to best serve its residents," said Yelda.
As we reported, Mayor James Cahill quietly signed an agreement in July 2014 partially handing over control of the New Brunswick Water Utility to New Jersey American Water.
That change came on the heels of a joint federal and state investigation that found the city had been lying to the public about the quality of the water for years.
The current privatization agreement is set to expire at the end of September, and the event's sponsors support returning to a publicly-controlled water system.
“Even the Rain” has won many international awards, including an Ariel Award for Best Ibero-American Film, three Goya Awards, and it was also nominated by Spain for the 2011 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.