Lo Más Bonito y Mis Mejores Años

Bolivia cinema is on an upswing. Sure, this country does not produce as many films on annual basis than our neighbors, but there is a resurgence in the attention and respect given to national films.  Increased crackdown on pirated films allows a blind eye to the hollywood blockbusters, but for godsakes don’t copy Bolivian films.  There is great anticipation for the new film by director Rodrigo Bellott, which is called “Quien mató a la llamita blanca?”

However, the one that is gaining the most attention is “Lo Más Bonito y Mis Mejores Años” directed by Martin Boulocq.  I caught the film last night at the Latin American film festival and it was one of the better films that I have seen.  Set in Cochabamba, it follows a trio of 20-somethings during the time in their lives where they must face an uncertain future.  From the website:

LO MAS BONITO Y MIS MEJORES AÑOS (THE MOST BEAUTIFUL OF MY VERY BEST YEARS) es una imagen evocativa y reflexiva sobre la amistad, el amor, la añoranza y, también, a veces, sobre la naturaleza estática de la vida. Combinando las fuerzas de la observación y de una modesta proposición de la realidad, el director Martín Boulocq posee la habilidad de transmitir un emotivo relato sobre la vivencia de tres amigos que se esfuerzan por encontrar el sentido en sus vidas.

Berto es un joven introvertido y solitario que vive en Cochabamba, ciudad de Bolivia. Berto, pensando en comprar un boleto de viaje para salir de Bolivia, se propone vender su más preciada posesión –el Volkswagen ’65 que heredó de su abuelo. Así, junto a su mejor amigo Víctor, el sabelotodo, comienzan a dar vueltas la ciudad para tratar de vender el vehículo. Camila, la enamorada de Víctor, se une a ellos rompiendo así la monotonía de sus esforzados momentos como vendedores. La película es una fábula sobre la vida urbana boliviana; es una historia visualmente conmovedora enfocada en el círculo del amor: dos hombres, una mujer y el auto.

By far, this is the best Bolivian movie that I have seen, as it really captures life in Cochabamba and I recognize so much of what takes place within the film. The subtle humor within the dialogue really provided something extra.  I think this will be the one film that really attracts a lot of attention from Latin America.

First Impressions

Whenever I return to Bolivia, buy mind the first thing that I do is see what´s new.  Construction is booming.  It appears that on every block in the city center, sovaldi a new apartment building is on its way up.  For starters, fewer individuals want to live in a house, even though it offers more space, a garden and more privacy.  The security of an apartment building is too much to pass up, since crime continues to rise in Cochabamba.

Apart from these new dwellings, the biggest news is opening of the new Cine Center movie complex.  With ten screens, it may leave the newest theater, Cine Norte, located a good distance away from the city center, soon of out of business.  However, they are trying new things such as host the Latin American Film Festival, which runs for ten days.  The bad thing is that they fail to release the schedule so that we know what plays when.

It´s incredibly windy these days and I incorrectly assumed that the cold of winter had passed. Walking at night is very pleasant and one of the things that I love about Cochabamba is that you are bound to run into someone you know along the city sidewalks. “When did you arrive?” is a question that I will get many times over the next three weeks.  For some, due to the frequency of my returns, may incorrectly assume that I had never left.


Back to Bolivia

It seems like I write these “Back to Boliviaposts fairly often. Maybe I am lucky that I can afford, both financially and job-wise, to go back for the second time in eight months. I’ve really neglected this blog over the summer, partly because I was bit overworked, but also tired of writing about Bolivian politics. I did manage to keep up with my Bolivia summary on Global Voices, where I followed closely the growing number of blogs written in Bolivia and by Bolivians. However, my interest in politics did not diminish. Over the summer, I went to a seminar attended by 5 of the departmental prefects, who were obviously coached on their message of autonomy by thier U.S. hosts. I did not have the opportunity to stay and ask a question, because I was determined to ask Ruben Costas whether “all our base are belong to him?.” I also attended the convincing lecture by the Bolivian Vice-President at the CSIS. As I took my seat in the front row, a Bolivian lady sat beside me. After exchanging pleasantries, she soon began to ask me question about what is going on in Bolivia. She marveled that I was able to identify some of the members of the Bolivian delegates, such as PODEMOS senator Oscar Ortiz. Anyway, I will launch my new blog, called Barrio Flores at http://www.barrioflores.net/blog , which will try not to focus on politics or current events. I am looking forward to try my hand at video blogging with my digital camera. I will keep this open for a little while longer should the need to write about politics come around. In Bolivia, I hope to make it down to Sucre, as well as spend some time in La Paz and El Alto, hopefully meeting up with some Bolivian bloggers.

Off to the airport, where I’m flying American Airlines for the first time. It’s always been Lloyd Aereo Boliviano, even though they have resumed flying, it wasn’t worth the uncertainty.


P.S. My wordpress blog is far from complete..I have yet to add links, a better banner picture, etc.


President Evo Morales played in yet another exhibition football match in Sucre to celebrate the opening of the Constituent Assembly.

Photos: Reuters

I’m convinced that Evo had his sights on the Presidency just to be able to participate in these types of sporting events. He even broke his nose in a recent game running into an overeager goalkeeper. These games have become a staple of official visits to rural villages where the President can interact with locals.