Though active mostly in the Netherlands, the inspired documentary maker Heddy Honigmann (Forever) was born in Lima, Peru. For this 2008 feature she returned to the city to collect the stories of servants, street performers, and shopkeepers who work near the presidential palace and whose modest lives stand in stark contrast to the wealth and luxury of the powerful people they serve. As she moves from one poor soul to the next, exposing the essential dignity of each, their memories of political and economic turbulence contribute to a rueful people's history of Peru. Mixing her a pisco sour, the national cocktail, bartender Jorge Kanashiro recalls serving the drink to past presidents and aptly describes the country's last few decades as “a badly mixed cocktail made of semidemocratic elections, coups, terrorism, and corruption.” Yet Honigmann finds such beauty in the people and their work that she generates an irrational sense of hope and connection. In Spanish with subtitles.
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