There’s a huge diversity of modern culture, landscapes and ancient history across this amazing South American country – and no amount of movie watching can prepare you for the real experience of travelling here. However, over the years, there have been many great films either about Peru or made in the country. So why not give yourself a little taste of life and culture here, and indulge in one (or all) of these cinematic experiences before your trip?
The Motorcycle Diaries
A very famous option this one, this 2004 biopic of a young Che Guevara is a fascinating character piece and a gorgeous advert for travellers looking to visit South America. Following the true story of the future communist revolutionary’s motorcycle journey across the continent with his friend Alberto Granado, The Motorcycle Diaries features some of Peru’s most stunning scenery and closely sticks to Che’s own historic journal writings about the events.
The scenes at Machu Pichu, as touristic such a destination has become in the modern day, are some of the most amazing footage ever shot of the area – with the UK’s Daily Telegraph newspaper saying they were ‘worth watching several times over’. Today, The Motorcycle Diaries sits at a 7.5 out of 10 score on review aggregator Metacritic and has an Academy Award for Best Original Song to its name.
La Boca Del Lobo
Of course, we would be doing the history of Latin America a disservice if we completely avoided some of the more unsavoury aspects of it’s past, and its especially important for writers and directors to tackle these serious topics. One of many Peruvian movies featuring The Shining Path, a communist guerrilla insurgency that tried to start a revolution in Peru in the 1980s, La Boca Del Lobo is an unflinching depiction of the horrors of war – and how the worst kinds of acts are often perpetrated by both sides.
Telling the story of a Peruvian army unit that arrive in a remote mountain town, only to become besieged on all sides by revolutionary fighters. One young soldier, known as Vitan, must fight with his own ideals of right and wrong as the paranoid and outnumbered soldiers begin to take out their frustrations on the local populace. Translating literally as ‘The Jaws of the Wolf’, this classic piece of 1980s Peruvian cinema was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 1989 Academy Awards, losing to Swedish immigration drama Pelle The Conqueror.
If you seriously want to grab yourself a taste of local culture before you head to a country, you could definitely pick a worse choice than the local’s most watched movie of all time. In Peru’s case, that is Asu Mare! – a 2013 comedy biopic created by the insanely popular local funnyman Carlos Alcántara. Made on a budget of under $1 million, Asu Mare! grossed nearly $6.5 million worldwide and knocked animated comedy Ice Age 4 of the Peruvian box office’s all-time top spot. You might not get all the jokes, but Alcantara’s rags to riches life story is an engaging one that gives a true feel for life in this fantastic country.