Jorge Sanjinés

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Jorge Sanjinés (born in La Paz, Bolivia on July 31, 1936) is a Bolivian film director and screenwriter. He founded the production group Grupo Ukamau. He won the ALBA Prize for Arts in 2009.[1]

Film career[edit]

Jorge Sanjinés is known for his Marxist agenda, bringing highly political films of a revolutionary aesthetic to peasant and working-class audiences in the Andean highlands. The films that characterized the 'New Latin American Cinema' or Third Cinema provided an alternative to First (Capitalist) Cinema, making the social collective act as the protagonists of these films rather than an individual hero.[2]

The 1969 film Blood of the Condor (Yawar Mallku) by Sanjinés reveals the story of the undisclosed sterilization of Andean Indian women by a "Progress Corps" (standing in for the American Peace Corps) clinic. This film is thought to have led to the expulsion of the Peace Corps from Bolivia in an act of anti-imperialist cultural nationalism by the indigenous people.[3]

After showings of Yawar Mallku, Sanjinés learned that many peasants had criticism about the difficulty of his films due to the use of flashback for narration, as his film-making was greatly influenced by European art cinema, and about the lack of attention to denouncing the causes of the indigenous peoples' issues. He took this into account when making his next film, called El coraje del pueblo (The Courage of the People), in 1971. El coraje del pueblo worked with untrained actors, many of them peasants themselves. This marked the beginning of a stage in Sanjinés's career characterized by filming "with the people."[4]

His next film, El enemigo principal (1973)[5] explores the effects of U.S. imperialism through the relationship between wealthy landowners and the indigenous peasant population.[6]

Jorge Sanjinés worked under strained film-making conditions, with limited funding, few production facilities, and little Bolivian movie tradition to draw upon.


Short films[edit]

  • Sueños y realidades (1962)
  • Revolución (1963)

Feature films[edit]

  • Ukamau, or And So It Is (1966)
  • Yawar Mallku, or Blood of the Condor (1969)
  • El coraje del pueblo, or The Courage of the People (1971)
  • El enemigo principal, or The Principal Enemy (1974)
  • Fuera de aquí, or Get out of Here! (1981)
  • Las banderas del amanecer (1983)
  • La nación clandestina (1989)
  • Para recibir el canto de los pájaros (1995)
  • Los hijos del último jardín (2004)
  • Insurgentes (2012)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ La Ventana, portal informativo de la Casa de las Americas. "Anuncian Premios ALBA de las artes y las letras en FILVEN 2009" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  2. ^ "Problems of Form and Content in Revolutionary Cinema.". 
  3. ^ Geidel, Molly. "Sowing Death in Our Women's Wombs": Modernization and Indigenous Nationalism in the 1960s Peace Corps and Jorge Sanjinés' Yawar Mallku. American Quarterly - Volume 62, Number 3, September 2010, pp. 763-786
  4. ^ Rosalind Galt, Karl Schoonover. Global Art Cinema: New Theories and Histories. 2010, pp. 359.
  5. ^ "El enemigo principal". Conacine. 
  6. ^ "Film Reference: SANJINÉS, Jorge".