Peru is currently suffering from a number of seemingly intractable problems, the most dramatic of which is the persistence of a Maoist-inspired revolutionary and terrorist guerilla outfit called "La Sendero Luminosa," or "The Shining Path." Even after their leadership was captured, this group showed amazing resilience. While the present movie is not about that group directly, the story is overshadowed by the ever-present air of warfare engendered by that conflict. In the story, a young coast-born mountain climber has come to a remote Andean village for a hiking holiday. He immediately becomes the focal point for a number of local legends which help them cope with the effects of the long siege of guerilla warfare. The legends speak of a blue-eyed, light-skinned monster who kills people for their fat, and the stranger seems to fit the description of the monster. When symbols collide in this way with painful realities, often a new and more powerful symbol is born.
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