You Only Live Once (La Vida Una Sola)

Director: Marianne Eyde
Screenwriters: Marianne Eyde

Institute History

  • 1994 Sundance Film Festival


Nowhere is day-to-day existence more tragic and complex than where there is political upheaval. The plight of Peruvian peasants is captured In this cogent, restrained portrait of a small Andean village caught between sides in a revolution. Shining path guerrillas, posing as students on vacation, enter the village and coerce its leaders into solidarity with them. When the town government resists, they take over, declare the village a liberated zone, and execute all "counterrevolutionaries.” Soon the army, under a swaggering, super macho chief, moves to push the Shining Path out of the village which they've previously threatened to punish if it sided with revolutionaries.

Norwegian director Marianne Eyde, who has worked in Lima since graduating from the university in 1980, depicts the desperation of these most vulnerable members of society. Her stylized realism manages to avoid strict ideology (although some might argue her attack on both sides is inherently counterrevolutionary) while focusing on everyday realities. Her plea for understanding speaks volumes: this pointed, yet balanced film is both a rational and emotional assessment of the real costs of change and progress In Latin America.

Monday Jan 24 1:40 pm
Holiday Village Cinema III

Thursday Jan 21 1:20 pm
Holiday Village Cinema II


— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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