Inspired By True Event

6 South American movies inspired by true events

It's movies season and it’s only fair to remember those great South American movies that were inspired by true events. We recommend these movies not only because they inspire us emotionally but motivate to explore the real story.

Motor-cycle Diaries (2004)

Motorcycle diaries itself was inspired by the great Che Guevera's and his friend Alberto Granado's journey through South America.
Starring Gael García Bernal and Rodrigo De la Serna it shows their road-trip and how the characters themselves help others and make new friends just like many backpackers today. You watch the journey the two make and inevitable the trip that shapes the rest of their lives. In fact, it shapes the history of many South American countries. Today we know they both took very different paths after this journey. Guevera, as we know went on to fight alongside Fidel Castro while Granado fought for the people through diplomacy. Whether we are with or against Guevera’s decisions there is no denying he inspired a world of socialism as well as encouraging many of us to travel to South America and see the landscape for what it truly is.

The 33 (2015)

Inspired by the true story of the Chilean miners who spent 69 days in the Chilean mine in San Jose.
Antonio Banderas is joined by host of well-known actors such as Gabriel Byrne, Juliette Binoche and Spanish actor Rodrigo Santoro who plays Laurence Golborne. Banderas plays Mario the real leader of the Chilean 33. We all watched the story unfold on the news between August and October 2010 when finally we see them emerge from the mine. The film shows how the men survived on very little food rationalised in order for them to survive until their rescue. It shows the struggles the family went through not knowing whether their loved ones were dead or alive. It also shows the struggles the rescuers needed to overcome even though all hope was lost. This movie inspires never to give up hope and stick together in a time of crisis.

Alive (1993)

Alive was inspired by the story of the Uruguayan Rugby team and their family and friends who crashed in the Andean Mountains in 1972.
Alive was made into a commercial movie in 1993 starring Ethan Hawke and Vincent Spano. After the crash, an avalanche kills more survivors and then they heard radio reports no-one was coming to help them. With this news, some of the survivors set off on a 10-day trek to find help. The film shows how they scramble and climb to the top of a mountain discover the best way forward. With no food and surrounded by snow the survivors at the crash site were left with no option but to eat their travelling companions to stay alive. 16 people were rescued after 72 days. This movie inspires us to do whatever is necessary to survive.

Touching the Void (2003)

Touching the Void is another survival story inspired by 2 climbers attempting to reach the summit of Siula Grande in Peru. Although the movie itself is more of a documentary it shows how we can survive against all odds. Reaching to the top of the summit and to two become trapped by a snow storm and run out of gas to melt snow for water. Hanging from a mountain Joe Simpson played by Brendan Mackey is cut loose by his partner Simon Yates. He falls to what we presume is his death but actually survives. He awakens from his fall injured with a broken leg deep in the cracks of the ice.
Days pass and real life Yates explained to the audience how he felt terrible for cutting his friend loose. He also explains how he was haunted by his decision. In the end, it was he, who discovered his friend struggling and reduced to a crawl, making his way down the mountain side. In the end, he became the hero all because he thought he could hear a dog howling out his name. Touching the Void is an inspirational book turned into a documentary movie that shows us that even against all odds the willingness to survive comes from within.

Our Brand is Crisis (2015)

Inspired by the presidential election which took place in Bolivia in 2002 between Castillo and Rivera, Our Brand is Crisis stars Sandra Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton. A documentary of the same name documented the election and the consultants hired by Castillo. Bullock plays the political consultant Jane Bodine who is once again up against her political arch-nemesis and old rival Pat Candy played by Thornton. Candy is fighting in the Rivera corner. Bodine’s (Bullock) character shows that she is willing to stop at nothing to win the election over Candy (Thornton) even if it means presenting a less than favorable character to the public. Using “crisis within the country” she draws in support for Castillo just like in the real life election. Bodine leads the less than perfect presidential candidate Castillo to victory by cheap tricks and pitching Rivera at the post. Once appointed Castillo shows how he was not deserving of his position and ends with Bodine realizing that winning is not about her success but what it means for the country’s people. Today you can still see the remnants of the election through the streets of the smaller towns and villages in Bolivia.

Even the Rain (2010)

Even in the Rain (También la Lluvia) about the fight for the right to water, a basic human right. Although this story is indicative of what is happening in most countries today. Water in Bolivia was privatized between 1997 & 2001 which makes for a compelling sub-plot within this movie.
The main storyline is about a film crew, being filmed about Christopher Columbus and how they mistreated the Indians at the time. Starring Gael García Bernal and Luis Tosar as the film’s director and producers they are consumed by their film rather than how privatization affects the Bolivian people. However, the main actor in their movie is a local activist against the privatization of water which causes a lot of problem for the film crew, director and producer. This film inspires us to keep fighting for what rightfully belongs to the people because at the end of the day water really does just “fall from the sky”.

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