Nestled in the lush valley of La Paz, Bolivia, the upper-class suburb of Zona Sur has sheltered the country’s wealthy elite for many years. Here, in an adobe-tile-roofed castle, a statuesque matriarch reigns over her spoiled progeny and her Indigenous Aymaran butler. But all is not what it seems. As the mother fights with her oversexed son and clashes with her petulant daughter, her six-year-old son rambles the rooftops unnoticed. Decline hangs in the air, and the threat of aristocratic privileges changing hands signifies a new chapter of a prickly and ill-fated class war.
Juan Carlos Valdivia’s revolving camera poetically articulates the devolving drama while exposing the bubble of decadence in which the bourgeoisie exist. With the recent reelection of Bolivia’s first Aymaran president, the long-suppressed Indigenous people are rising up to reclaim their homeland, and Valdivia returns to Sundance <i>(Jonah and the Pink Whale</i>—Sundance Film Festival 1996) with a crystal vision of the change taking place in his native country.
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