Obsessive idealist Sebastian (Gael Garcia Bernal) has sworn to direct a film about one of the world's most iconic figures, Christopher Columbus. He is determined to overturn the myth of the arrival of Western Civilisation in the Americas as a force for good. His film will show what Columbus set in motion: the obsession with gold, the taking of slaves, and the terrible violence visited on those Indians who fought back. The brilliant actor playing Columbus constantly challenges the director, accusing him of hypocrisy and cheap manipulation. Costa (Luis Tosar), Sebastian's friend and producer, doesn't give a damn. All that matters is that the film comes in on time and within budget. While the shoot progresses in and around the city of Cochabamba, civil and political unrest simmer, as the entire water supply of the city is privatised and sold to a British/American multinational. Violence increases daily until the entire city explodes in the now infamous Bolivian Water War. 500 years after Columbus, sticks and stones once again confront the high-tech weaponry of a modern army. Only this time the fight is not over gold, but the simplest of life-giving elements - water.
A film about film making Even the Rain tells the story of a cast and crew intent on making a movie about Columbus and his discovery and subsequent exploration of the Americas. Whilst making their movie however the film makers inadvertently begin to reflect Columbus in an unexpected fashion; by following in the abuse and exploitation of the native Indians they encounter in their journey.
The movie raises issues of poverty and civil rights in an area frequently abused by richer Western countries and the story is supposedly based on the real fight by locals in Cochabamba against wealthy water company, Bechtel Corp, who attempted to buy land rights in the area and charge the locals for water from their own wells.
Although a perfectly reasonable movie Even the Rain fails to project anything new or particularly gripping whilst the balance between the story of the locals and the film makers wears a little thin. Beyond this the performances were fairly good, notably that of Gael Garcia Bernal, whose portrayal of a rather weak and sallow character left me with very little love for him.
The movie portrays a sympathetic tone to the impoverished locals, and justifiably of course, but this melodrama seeps into the characters of the cast and crew turning their reactions into little more than stories of the hard hearted wealthy being won over by the plucky locals.