Sanjinés, Jorge (1936--) By Cuéllar, Jorge E.
Jorge Sanjinés is a Bolivian director, screenwriter, and author. A committed political filmmaker, Sanjinés’s films and essays attempt to integrate Marxist revolutionary theory and indigenous ways of knowing towards the creation of a popular, transformative, liberating cinema. His first feature, Ukamau [And So it Is] (1966) tells the story of a native man who exacts revenge on a wealthy mestizo for the rape and murder of his wife. His second film, Yawar mallku [Blood of the Condor] (1969), is a story of indigenous resistance against a covert US Peace Corps sterilizing program affecting the women of an Andean peasant village. In 1971 Sanjinés directed El coraje del pueblo [The Courage of the People], a documentary re-enactment of the government-sponsored massacre of miners in 1967 using survivors of the slaughter itself. Considered an integral part of the New Latin American Cinema, Sanjinés’s filmmaking practice is notable for its intimate collaboration with indigenous peoples through his production collective, Grupo Ukamau. Sanjinés’s films, though frequently affected by limited financing and marginalized forms of exhibition and distribution, have been instrumental in preserving the indigenous language Quechua, challenging ethnic and class hierarchies, and revealing the injustices, exploitation, repression, and racism in Bolivian society. His latest film, Insurgentes (2012), is a historical tracing of the lost sovereignty of Andean communities in Bolivia from Spanish colonization to the first indigenous President of Bolivia, Evo Morales.