The film that represented Peru in the race for a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2019 Academy Awards is now available on Amazon Prime Video.
The first film in Peru to be shot in the indigenous Aymara language, Wiñaypacha, meaning Eternity in this language, is the debut feature of director Óscar Catacora, and is now available on Amazon Prime Video.
Wiñaypacha tells the story of an elderly couple, Willka and Phaxsi, Sun and Moon in Aymara, who only have one another and spend their days in the Andes waiting for their son Antuco to come back. The moving film won Best Director Under 35, Best Cinematography and Best First Feature Film in the Guadalajara International Film Festival.
Director Óscar Catacora explained that the film is intended to shed light on indigenous cultures that are often overlooked, and tried to give enough respect to films shot in their communities by shooting them in their own language. The entire film crew had the prerequisite of speaking Aymara before being hired. Aside from Quechua and the languages from the Amazon, Aymara is spoken by 2.8 million people in Peru, Bolivia, and parts of Chile.
Some of the difficulties the movie faced during production were the high altitude, 5,000 meters above sea level, and mining bombs exploding around the mountains of Puno. The director also faced a personal conflict with trespassing a traditional barrier of respect usually held between elders and younger people in the community, especially because the two actors portraying Willka and Phaxi, Vicente Catacora and Rosa Nina, were first-time actors and had never seen a film before.
But despite the difficulties, the director noted: «… we would never say that it was sacrificed. We do not complain about work. In Aymara culture, work is not God’s punishment.»
Wiñaypacha now increases the list of films made in Latinamerica that celebrate indigenous dialects and their cultures. Some other examples include Guatemala’s Ixcanul and Colombia’s Embrace of the Serpent, the latter being nominated for a 2015 Academy Award in the category of Best Foreign Language Film.
The Ministry of Culture reported that Wiñaypacha’s theatrical release sold more than 30,000 movie tickets, something unique for arthouse films in the country.
As well as Wiñaypacha, the Peruvian film Captain Pantoja and the Special Service is also available on the same streaming platform.