Saturday, 14 April 2012

Blood of the Condor - Film Synopsis



The film the Blood of the Condor seeks to address and convey to its audience the complex and exploitative situation; which indigenous Bolivian communities face in the form of their interactions with Western development projects. The film was filmed in 1969 in Bolivia and was initially released in Argentina. At the heart of the film is a complex narrative which is seeking to express the negative impact of Western led initiatives in Third World and developing countries. The film is composed of a series of flashbacks which relate to the opening scene; surrounding institutionalized domestic violence and abuse when a wife is unable to conceive a child and therefore she is unable to fulfill her marital and maternal obligations. The next scene shows the chieftain of the village, and the protagonist of the film being severely wounded in an execution attempt by corrupt police and officials by firing squad; which is in fact the end of a chronological sequence of events, however the scene is shown at the beginning of the film to engage the viewer and trigger them into wanting to find out what has happened.

The film is distinctly art-house in its construction and the film takes many compositional notes from European cinema at the time; in an attempt by the film maker to cater to European audiences of the time; in order to convey the important message of the film. The focus of the middle segment of the film follows the heroine, and wife of the chieftain in her attempt, along with her brother-in-law, to save her husband following the wounds that were inflicted upon the chief by the corrupt Bolivian officials. The plot conjures up a degree of paranoia. The Bolivian community organise a protest against the supposed existence of a sterilization clinic, which is believed to be trying to eliminate the indigenous tribe. The leaders of the Peace Corps in the area, who run the clinic and are believed to be conducting forced sterilization; are then set-upon by the natives who target their hostilities towards the Peace Corps. After taking up arms, and relating to the earlier flashback at the beginning where the leader is shot, we are faced with an urgent need for a blood transfusion to save the life of the leader; which is in turn continually delayed at the hospital due to bureaucratic ineptitude and a lack of funds on behalf of his wife. The viewer is then presented with the leaders brother who desperately searches for a means to raise the money to pay for his brothers medical treatment, before he succumbs to the wounds inflicted upon him at the start of the film. But in terms of the time sequence the events which took place leading to the leaders shooting wound have happened at the end.

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