June 21, 2021

'The worst of desires': ambition, violence and power struggles in the city of El Alto | Culture

'The worst of desires': ambition, violence and power struggles in the city of El Alto | Culture



Carlos Borja conspires against Roberto Frías to take control of the Federation of Drivers of Bolivia. The country is experiencing great changes; the contraband has empowered Roberto's wife, Margot, who manipulates her husband to block the streets and get them to repeal a national law against smuggling that has enriched her so much. They all fight for their most coveted desires, even if this involves betraying, killing or even dying. Under this premise, The worst of desires is presented, by the Chilean-Bolivian director Claudio Araya, a "political-criollo thriller" about struggles of power, ambition and violence set in El Alto, a city built on the Bolivian Altiplano plateau near La Paz, the seat of Government.

The film was born as an idea 12 years ago, inspired by the theater play Crudo, by Diego Aramburo. That same year Araya was in the Guadalajara Film Festival, where he "discovered" Mexican actor Luis Felipe Tovar. Over the years, the history and conception of the cinematic idea of ​​The Worst of Desires changed. The only thing that did not change in the mind of the director and screenwriter was the participation of its protagonist, who gets into the skin of Carlos Borja. "I started to dream of Carlos Borja and then, when I had the economic possibility of making the film, I wrote the character for him. That is to say, Luis Felipe Tovar was always in the film, "says Araya.

Tovar, via telephone, says that one of the details that most caught the attention of the script was the story, as he considers it offers a tour of certain aspects that have to do with Bolivian society. He explains that his character has different nuances and interpreting someone like that for any actor is "very enjoyable." "Is a man [Carlos Borja] who ambitions and wants to be in the shoes of his best friend. It is like a natural predator, it is transgressor by nature, always seeks to take profit in a personal capacity, to want to have power, to generate benefits. He is always meandering to reach his goal, "adds the actor.

He also co-starred Sin Sinente (1996), a film for which he won the Ariel award for best supporting actor, admits that it was not easy to get into the head of his character, for everything that connotes Bolivian culture and the essence of their interactions . "It was a different experience. Bolivia is a country whose culture surpasses you in every way. They have a relationship between the mystical, religious, pagan, the strength of mind that the indigenous population has within society, things that for me were different to what I live daily in my country, "Tovar explains.

The city of El Alto is part of the metropolitan area of ​​La Paz and in The worst of desires it works as an annex or periphery. A place that is not known or is unnamable, says Araya, in which political movements take place from the unions and power struggles are generated important for the national territory, from the very small to the largest. "Power for me is portrayed in macro and micro. What interests me is to understand why we are the way we are, from very everyday and small attitudes that are reflected in the greatest, in the national politics, that for me is important. I think it's a representation of who we are, what we are and maybe a bit of a parody of why we are, "says the director.

One of the biggest challenges for Araya in putting together the story was to understand what he was going to tell and where he was going to go with her. The writing of the script, which was supported by Michel Gaztambide -Goya's winner for There will be no peace for the evil ones- and the Bolivian writer Wilmer Urrelo – National Award of Novel 2007 -, was shaped as a story that is being assembled, which is cut to be resolved, according to the director. Within one of these fragments emerges the figure of Margot, a woman in a skirt, distinctive dress of mestizo women, or cholas, and indigenous Aymara and Quechua. She is a woman who is strong and imposing, with economic and political power, a detail that the director was interested in showing.

These acting qualities were found in Inés Quispe, actress, host of the program La libre libre del pueblo and "cholita" of Aymara descent. Araya says that both Margot and the actress who embodies it, are powerful and deep women. "What I emphasize about Margot is that she is a woman that today exists, there are many women who are the breadwinners and thus, wealthy, traveling, who are independent in every way," says the interpreter via telephone.

Quispe says that the inspiration for his character was born from the amalgam of many women he met through his work. "In my family and in the families I met because of my travels in Bolivia, women have an important power. I believe that the national economy in some sectors is managed by them, maybe it is not as seen, but women have a fundamental role. That important role of women in the film, in a new economy that is contraband, is there. We deny them, but they are there, strong, very strong, "says Araya.

The worst of the desires had its premiere abroad at the Film Festival of Puerto Montt, Chile, where it won two awards – the jury's mention and the audience's award. While the producers program the next steps of the film in the international circuit, in Bolivia it was released commercially on November 29 and still remains in theaters.

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