About Utama

In the arid Bolivian highlands, an elderly Quechua couple has been living a tranquil life for years. While he takes their small herd of llamas out to graze, she keeps house and walks for miles with the other local women to fetch precious water. When drought threatens their way of life, their dilemma is precipitated by the arrival of their grandson Clever, who comes to visit with news and offer to move his grandparents to a home in the city. The three of them must face, each in their own way, the effects of a changing environment, the importance of tradition, and the meaning of life itself. This visually jaw-dropping debut feature by photographer-turned-filmmaker Alejandro Loayza Grisi is lensed by award-winning cinematographer Barbara Alvarez (Lucrecia Martel’s The Headless Woman) and won the Grand Jury Prize (World Cinema Dramatic) at the Sundance Film Festival. Utama is Bolivia’s official submission to the 95th Academy Awards. [87 min; drama; Spanish and Quechua with English subtitles]

“A strikingly beautiful work.” —Wendy Ide, Screen International

"A powerful tale of survival.” —Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter

“Visually beguiling." — Carlos Aguilar, IndieWire

Any film screened at IU Cinema may contain content that viewers find sensitive or upsetting. Visit our Audience Advisories page to learn more.

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