Eldorado XXI (PT/F 2016, Salomé Lamas)

PT/F 2016, D: Salomé Lamas, 125′, Doc, OV with English subtitles, DCP

It is neither a gold rush, nor the prospect of quick wealth, but the hope to alleviate misery is driving people to the mining site La Riconanda, the highest situated settlement in the world. At 5000 meters above sea level in the Peruvian Andes Mountains, workers graft with their modest tools under preindustrial production conditions. The ones above ground are exposed to adverse weather, the ones underground accompanied by the fear of being buried, should the pit cave in. Only the intoxication with coca keeps reality at bay.

Lamas translates the implacability of circumstances into a nearly one hour opening sequence, whose perspective is static but nonetheless streaked by a lot of movement. Similar to a hidden object picture, hundreds of unrecognisable mineros crest a mountain slope, surrounded by darkness, only lit by the glow oft their helmet lamps. The monotony of the maelstrom is attributed with accounts of workers, snippets, jingles and reports of accidents from the miner’s radio station.

This piece of rigorous documentary is followed by the expressive barrenness of images displaying sad attle heaps, unionists meeting in blowing snow and the village community finally meeting in a colourful and noisy celebration.

[Parafiction | Salomé Lamas]

21 April 20, 10 pm – Schaubühne Lindenfels – € 6,5 (5,5 red.)