Peru's filmmaking history dates back to 1932 when the first nationally produced film was shot in Iquitos by Antonio Wong Rengifo. Surprisingly, movie production began in this little town on the banks of the Amazon River in one of the most isolated parts of the country (even by today's standards) thanks to the rubber boom of that period.
Lima wouldn't see its first movie shot there until 1934 when the movie Resaca
was directed by Alberto Santana. Peru's film industry is heavily influenced by Latin American authors such as Mario Vargas Llosa
and Gabriel Garcia Marquez
. It is not uncommon to find elements of magic realism in Peruvian movies.
One example is found in the movie Madeinusa
from the director Claudia Llosa, niece of Mario Vargas Llosa. She is also the niece of the Peruvian director of the cult movie favorite Anaconda
, Luis Llosa. The most established and one of the most respected directors to come out of Peru is Francisco José Lombardi. Director of Sin Compasión
and Caídos de Cielo
(nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Movie in 1990), he has won numerous awards from film festivals around the world and is also the recipient of numerous awards recognizing his commitment to human rights.
Although Peruvian cinema has a small footprint in the world of Spanish language cinema, there are important actors that have had an impact in the world of film. Magaly Solier is an actress who has performed in movies such as Madeinusa
and La Teta Asustada
(The Milk of Sorrow). She has won numerous awards for her roles and has been active in both Latin American and European cinema. Carlos Alcántara is another actor who has played an important role in making Peruvian movies more visible outside the country. His versatility as an actor, comedian, and producer has enabled him to have a presence not only on the big screen but also in television and theater.
Peruvian cinema may be a small component of the global film industry, but if you are looking for quality Spanish language cinema, you won't have to go much further than exploring the cinema made in Peru.