Opening 10 May 2018
Director Rodrigo Otero Heraud is a native of Peru, born 1978 in Lima. In his documentary he accompanies a spiritual master and healer, Hipólito Peralta Ccama, through the Andes (also called Andean) mountain area in Peru, populated by farmers in small villages. Ccama travels from one village to the next and helps people along the way, blesses them and continues. He has neither a permanent home nor any possessions, except the few things he carries in his bag, such as a razor for shaving over a creek. As someone deeply attached to, and well acquainted with, the area, he is the perfect guide for Heraud and therefore for us, also. As we follow him, we gain respect for the people, who are self-sufficient and live far from any modern conveniences. Ccama says that city people should respect these farmers, because without their harvest, the city people would have much less on their tables. Traditions hold the villagers together.
This is a quiet film; often we hear only the running water of a stream. Ccama is deeply attached to nature and says, “Even a stone has a heart.” He talks of Pachamama, a mother-earth goddess of fertility who protects nature. We see Apu Tambraico, an area featuring a high wall of rock. My favorite scene was men who are sitting on the ground cooking potatoes. The photography is fantastic, of course, as is the music which stems mostly from native songs. The film is entirely in the indigenous language of the people, called Quechua, with subtitles. Here we have a splendid opportunity to learn about a part of the world which we may never personally see. (Becky Tan)