The “Relational Gaze”: a Decolonial Strategy in También la lluvia/Even the Rain by Icíar Bollaín

Mirta Roncagalli

Keywords: Gaze; Relationality; También la lluvia/Even the Rain; Icíar Bollaín; Decolonial Film Technique

Participation: presential

También la lluvia/Even the Rain is 2010 film directed by the Spanish director Icíar Bollaín and written by Paul Laverty. The plot takes place in Cochabamba, a Bolivian community, and develops in a continuous dialogue between a filming production that is working on a new movie on the figure of Christopher Columbus and the local indigenous population fighting in the Cochabamba Water War, a real event that took place between 1999 and 2000.

Starting from the postcolonial sociolinguistic theory of The Third Space formulated by Homi K. Bhabha, and the concept of subaltern defined by Gayatri Spivak, the present study will focus on Bollaín’s movie También la lluvia/Even the Rain to 1) outline the characteristics of the non- verbal element of the gaze; 2) trace its narrative function in the movie 3) examine what type of decolonial regeneration originates from it.

On one hand, I will argue that, in the macro-analytics level, the gaze creates an additional discursive space that implements a new storytelling strategy as a way of conceptualizing and interpreting the multilevel narration. On the other, I will demonstrate how, in the micro- analytics level, the gaze generates a multi-directional relationality that fundaments the decolonial strength of the whole film technique.


Bhabha, Homi K. The Location of Culture. Routledge, London; New York;, 1994.
"También La Lluvia: Even the Rain." , directed by Icíar Bollaín, et al. , Image Entertainment, 2012.
Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. “Can the Subaltern Speak?” Ed. C. Nelson y L. Grossberg, Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture, Basingstoke: Macmillan Education, 1988, pp. 271- 313.


Mirta is a doctoral candidate in the Department of French, Hispanic and Italian Studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She received her BA in Languages and Linguistics (with a minor in International Relations) from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy) and her Double MA in Comparative Literatures from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy) and University of Huelva (Spain). She also studied and researched at the following institutions: University of Bristol (UK), University of Zaragoza (Spain) and Georgia State University (US). Her current research develops at the crossroads of ethics and politics, specifically within the 21st-century Spanish essay. Her secondary research interests include the History of Italian migration flows to Argentina, and the indigenous artistic production publicly displayed both in North and South America.