Peruvian Cinema – The 5 Best Peruvian Movies

Many holiday websites focus entirely on travel – what to see, what to do, which hotel to stay in, good photo opportunities, etc.

At Go Andes we like to think we are a little different – our business was founded on the love for travel, the sharing of experiences, and on the desire to continue to travel. Part of travel is that essence of inspiration – what made you want to choose a holiday to Peru in the first place. It may have been a trip to your local Peruvian restaurant, a photo of Machu Picchu in the magazine you read in the waiting room at the dentists, or it could have been a movie you saw on TV.

Movies are a great way to inspire travel – whereas magazines, guidebooks and websites only show the glossy side of travel, movies can show it all – you can experience the language, culture, landscape, food, travel, romance, tragedy and more… simply from sitting back and enjoying a good movie.

Here are our selection of the best movies that Peruvian cinema has on offer, that we hope will inspire you to want to visit Peru:

1. La Teta Asustada / The Milk of Sorrow

Directed by Claudia Llosa and starring Magaly Solier, the Milk of Sorrow was nominated for the 82nd Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Picture category, and is a dramatic and heart felt story of a daughter who is fearful of the “Milk of Sorrow” disease, which is transmitted through breast milk from mothers who were abused. She moves from a poor rural district into Lima to find work, and takes drastic measures to avoid succumbing to the disease.

The movie was filmed in very poor areas around the Pachacamac district of, near the ruin of Pachacamac. This gives an honest picture of how many millions of Peruvians live.

2. Madeinusa

Also directed by Claudia Llosa and also starring Magaly Solier, this 2006 film charts the lives of village people and a stranger from Lima during religious celebrations in an Andean village.

As would be expected with any movie set in an Andean village the landscape is particularly outstanding.

3. Contracorriente / Undertow

This exceptionally well-received and very popular 2009 movie was filmed in the sea-side town of Cabo Blanco, in Peru. The movie follows the lives of a husband and his pregnant wife. The husband is secretly having an affair with a male artist who has recently moved to the village, but unfortunately the artist drowns in the sea. His spirit returns as a ghost, and the husband has to remain honest to his wife and baby, while also mourning the loss of his male friend.

Cabo Blanco is a small fishing village near Piura in Peru, and this movie is excellent at giving a true and honest snapshot of life in a poor Peruvian fishing village – what the houses look like, what food the people eat, what kind of things they talk about, and what the beaches and fishing look like. Recommended.

4. Altiplano

The 3rd movie in this list to feature to outstanding acting talents of Peru’s own Magaly Solier, this film from 2009, technically a joint Peruvian and Belgium film, is a tragedy that follows the lives of a group of Andean villagers that are suffering with health issues due to a local mine and the ignorance of the local authorities, and a group of doctors that have travelled to Peru to operate on the cataracts of indigenous people.

The film is relatively unique in that it combines Spanish, English, Frence, Arabic and Quechua languages, and dramatically shows how large mining corporations can affect local populations in sparsely populated regions of South America.

Altiplano was filmed around Arequipa and near Chivay, so the landscape on display is simply stunning, and this is the best movie we know of to show the granduer and stunning landscapes in and around Arequipa and the Colca Canyon.

5. The Motorcycle Diaries

Okay, not technically a Peruvian movie, but vast sections of this movie that stars Gael Garcia Bernal and follows the early journeys of Che Guevara were both set and filmed in Peru.

During his pre-revolution years Che Guevara spent time travelling through South America, and this movie follows that journey as he travels through Argentina, and eventually northwards into Peru, visiting Machu Picchu, central Lima, and the Peruvian amazin jungle.

If this movie doesn’t inspire you to want to travel to Peru… then nothing will!


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