FILM : KUKULI

You can watch now for free the famouse peruvian film Kukuly by Luis Figueroa. Kukuli, a young llama herder, leaves her grandparents in the countryside of Cusco to attend the Feast of Mamacha Carmen in the town of Paucartambo. On the way she meets Alaku, a mestizo who has lost his land. He seduces her, and they decide to enter into servinakuy (trial marriage). Continuing their journey to Paucartambo, they consult a brujo with a llama skeleton hung outside his house. Reading the coca leaves, the brujo notes Alaku’s lack of a home and declares that death accompanies them. Fleeing in fear, the couple reach Paucartambo and participate in the festival.

A priest asks Alaku to ring the bell at the top of the church tower. A man in a bear costume, blending in with the festivities, follows Alaku up the tower and throws him to the ground, killing him. The bear man then pursues Kukuli through the parade, captures her, and carries her off into the hills. The priest declares this calamity to be the fault of the townspeople’s sins, and he orders them to kill the demon bear man in atonement. They attack the culprit with stones and farm tools, and when they remove his mask they find he is really a bear, the Ukuku of Andean myth who attacks young women. (For a more sympathetic view of this creature, see Ukuku below under Short Films).

Kukuli is a simple, beautiful film celebrating the culture of the Cusco region, showing many folkways–the festival, the trial marriage, the apacheta (custom of placing a stone upon a pile while traveling), honoring the apus (mountain spirits), kissing the ground before entering a new town, and the saqra dance unique to Paucartambo. This was the first full-length film made by Cine Club Cusco, founded in 1955 by Luis Figueroa, Eulogio Nishiyama, Cesar Villanueva, and Victor and Manuel Chambi (sons of the great Cusco photographer Martin Chambi). Cine Club Cusco mostly made documentaries, and Kukuli shows that influence with its emphasis on folkways. Indeed, the scant plot seems constructed specifically to document and celebrate Quechua culture.  

Directors: Luis Figueroa, Eulogio Nishiyama, and Cesar Villanueva
Writers: Hernan Velarde, Lucho Figueroa, Cesar Villanueva
Quechua Dialogue: Hernán Velarde
Cinematography: Eulogio Nishiyama
Editing: Ricardo Nitzal
Music: Armando Guevara Ochoa, Leopoldo La Rosa (conductor), Pueblo de Paucartambo
1961. 67 minutes.
Setting: Paucartambo, a town near Cusco
Language: dialogue in Quechua, narration in Spanish
Indian Content: High

Kukuli (1961) – Cusco, Peru – First film in Quechua  – Kukuli By “Escuela de Cine de Cusco”

Blog Luis Figueroa: http://luifigueroa.blogspot.com/

Cast:
Kukuli – Judith Figueroa
Alaku – Victor Chambi
Machula (abuelo) – Felix Valeriano
Mamala (abuela) – Martina Mamani
Brujo – Simon Chambi
Ukuku – Lizardo Perez
Priest – Emilio Galli

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