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DER Podcast: Jason Burlage on MI CHACRA

Jason Burlage PodcastWhen I started, it seems like I should have thought about this, but I didn’t really think about the universality of that story — of Feliciano’s desire to leave the village and move to the city. But, during the making of it, I became more aware of how that story is happening everywhere… And, even at some point in the making of the film, I realized it was kind of my story, too, because I grew up in a town of a thousand people and never considered staying there. I can’t remember a time in my life when I thought, “Well, this is where I will live.” There was always something better. — Jason Burlage

When I was at Hot Docs last month, amidst all the chaos and excitement, I ran into DER filmmaker Jason Burlage. Jason directed Mi Chacra, a gem of a film that explores rural Peruvian life through the story of Feliciano, a Quechuan farmer. The film is beautiful and sensitive by any and all counts, but I particularly like how it offers a counter-point to typical narratives of tourism which begin with the cross-cultural encounter. It is only as the the film’s story progresses through the seasons — and we come to understand Feliciano’s history and his hopes for a better life for his son — that we learn Feliciano also works as a porter on the Inca Trail. Listen to the podcast to learn how Feliciano came to be the central character in Jason’s film — through equal parts hard work and good luck.

— Alice Apley

Download the transcript (PDF)


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