Writes Roger Ebert:
The genre of movies about movies coils back on itself in “Even the Rain.” The film involves the making of a film about Columbus and his discovery of America. That story shows how his arrival began centuries of exploitation of native Americans. “Even the Rain” is about how the filming of this story begins yet another cycle of exploitation.
As the film opens, a cast and crew have arrived on location in the mountains of Bolivia, far from the Caribbean shores first founded by Columbus. Here, as the producer Costa (Luis Tosar) boasts, the local Indians can he hired as extras for $2 a day and count themselves lucky. They can also be used for manual labor, and Costa is happy to use them to haul a giant crucifix into position, saving the cost of tractor rental.
You may begin to glimpse some symbolism coming into view. The film will exploit the Indians just as Columbus did. The difference is that Columbus evoked Christianity as his excuse, while the modern film thinks it is denouncing him while committing the same sins. This is more clear to us than the characters, including Gael Garcia Bernal as Sebastian, the director, who has vague sympathies for his low-paid workers but places his film above everything.
An opening scene establishes the poverty in the district. A casting call for extras draws a line of hopefuls that reaches out of sight. One of these is Daniel (Juan Carlos Aduviri), a worker who protests when the auditions are cut short. Sebastian ends up casting him in an important role, and he discovers that in real life, Daniel is a leader in a local revolt against the privatization of the local water resources. A California company has bought land rights and plans to charge the Indians for water from their own wells.
The Complete Review Here. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110224/REVIEWS/110229991