Altiplano

Directed by Peter Brosens, Jessica Hope Woodworth
  • Belgium/Germany/The Netherlands
  • 109 minutes
  • 2009

Set in the breathtaking Peruvian High Andes, this deeply affecting film is both a meditation on the power of the image and a song of protest against the ravages of war and colonisation. The film intertwines the destinies of two strong women: village beauty Saturnina (Solier) is preparing for marriage, while war photographer Grace (Tabatabai) has returned from a devastating tour of Iraq to bid farewell to her husband (Gourmet), a surgeon working near Saturnina’s village. When a mercury spill contaminates the area, the villagers direct their outrage at the visiting doctors. Brosens and Woodworth’s sublime stylisation is underscored by a driving fascination with reality – the film is inspired by the notorious Choropampa spill – and their storytelling alternately soars with the dreamlike logic of magic realism and plunges with the devastating literalness of photo journalism.

Director’s Statement: We believe in the poetic treatment of a complex reality. Altiplano offers the viewer the possibility to reflect on injustice, accountability, faith and redemption.

Magaly Solier, Jasmin Tabatabai, Olivier Gourmet