Cine Las Americas 2018 Review: MY BOLIVIA, REMEMBERING WHAT I NEVER KNEW

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 4 (Out of 4 Stars)

In this outstanding documentary film, director Rick Tejada-Flores decides to pursue a comprehensive study of his family’s roots and ancestry in Bolivia.  Though raised in America, Tejada-Flores had a father born and raised mostly in Bolivia and an American mother whom his father met and courted while in college in the U.S.  As the filmmaker goes deep into his family’s history, he discovers more about his grandfather who was a wealthy landowner, and Bolivian politician.  This much he knew already from the stories his family already told him.  However, what he didn’t know was that his grandfather was a slave owner.

This news and the further discoveries about his grandfather’s policies and leadership certainly shock and disturb Tejada-Flores, as he has spent some of his life as a liberal political activist in the United States.  This film proves to be an eye-opening journey for the director as he tries to make sense of his family’s checkered and perturbing history.  I found this to be an utterly fascinating and thoroughly compelling documentary.  I also found it amazing how times can and do often change for the better and Rick Tejada-Flores’s life is absolutely evident of that.  Though his journey can be disheartening, it is still enlightening and educational .  Tejada-Flores turns his very personal exploration of his family’s past into an extraordinary film that anyone interested in world history will appreciate.

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