American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 28

Fausta (Magaly Solier) checks on her ailing mother in a scene from The Milk of Sorrow, shot by Natasha Braier.

I

An Emotional Transformation in Peru By Jean Oppenheimer

The years between 1980 and 2000 were a time of terror in Peru, as Maoist guerrillas known as Shining Path waged war against the government. Both the rebels and state security forces engaged in atrocities against innocents, and no one was spared, not even the poverty-stricken peasants who lived high in the Andes. According to Andean folklore, pregnant women who were raped during the civil war passed their fear and anguish on to their children through breast feeding, and those who received “the milk of sorrow” were said to be born without souls. The Peruvian film The Milk of Sorrow, which was recently released in New York and Los Angeles, looks at this terrible legacy of pain and suffering through the story of Fausta (Magaly Solier), a beautiful but withdrawn young woman whose mother, while pregnant with her, was brutalized during the civil war. Fausta is so afraid of men that she will not venture outside unaccompanied, and so fearful of rape that she has taken the extreme precaution of inserting a potato in her vagina.
28 September 2010

“It took a lot of coffee over many weeks to arrive at the look and tone.”

“The film is about Fausta’s journey from fear to freedom,” continues Braier, a native of Argentina who lives in England. “At the beginning of the story, she is unbalanced, broken, and can’t seem to find her place in the frame. We break her image into fragments, placing her at the bottom of the frame, in the corner, or off to one side, but
American Cinematographer

The Milk of Sorrow photos and frame grabs courtesy of Olive Films and Natasha Braier.

The film was written and directed by Claudia Llosa, and cinematographer Natasha Braier recalls that when she first read the script, “it was difficult to imagine what direction Claudia was going to take.” With a laugh, she adds, “It took a lot of coffee over many weeks to arrive at the look and tone.

always with only a portion of her face visible. She is never whole and never centered.” When her mother dies suddenly, Fausta must earn money to pay for the burial, and this forces her to go out into the world for the first time. She takes a job as a domestic servant for Aida (Susi Sánchez), a rich woman who lives in Lima. “Our idea was that in Aida’s house, Fausta is all but invisible, a nobody, so we designed the frame not for her but for the scale of the house and the architecture of the spaces,” says Braier. “Walking through the mansion, she is reduced to little more than a dot.” To assuage her fears, Fausta continually sings a song that she learned from her mother. Aida, who is a concert pianist, is enamored of the tune, but when she asks Fausta to sing it for her, the timid young woman refuses. Aida unstrings a pearl necklace and promises to give one pearl to Fausta every time she sings. Realizing that the pearls will pay for her mother’s funeral, Fausta complies, and in so doing, she gradually develops courage and fortitude. The long, dark corridors that she must navigate to get to Aida’s room become a metaphor for her emotional odyssey. “We play a lot with the idea of



American Cinematographer - September 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - September 2010

American Cinematographer - September 2010
Contents
Editor’s Note
President’s Desk
Short Takes: Alexa “World Cup” demo
Production Slate: Eat Pray Love • The Milk of Sorrow
Mob Money (Boardwalk Empire)
War Horses (The Expendables)
A Beatle’s Upbringing (Nowhere Boy)
Romans on the Run (Centurion)
Where Cinematography Lives (ASC Clubhouse Renovation)
Post Focus: Lottery Ticket
Filmmakers’ Forum: David McFarland on Black Tulip
New Products & Services
International Marketplace
Classified Ads/Ad Index
ASC Membership Roster
Clubhouse News
ASC Close-Up: Dejan Georgevich
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - American Cinematographer - September 2010
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 1
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 2
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - Contents
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 4
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 5
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 6
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 7
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - Editor’s Note
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 9
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - President’s Desk
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 11
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - Short Takes: Alexa “World Cup” demo
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 13
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 14
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 15
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 16
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 17
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - Production Slate: Eat Pray Love • The Milk of Sorrow
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 19
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 20
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 21
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 22
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 23
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 24
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 25
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 26
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 27
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 28
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 29
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 30
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 31
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 32
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 33
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - Mob Money (Boardwalk Empire)
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 35
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 36
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 37
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 38
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 39
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 40
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 41
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 42
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 43
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 44
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 45
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 46
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 47
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 48
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 49
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - War Horses (The Expendables)
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 51
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 52
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 53
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 54
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 55
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 56
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 57
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 58
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 59
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 60
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 61
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 62
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 63
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - A Beatle’s Upbringing (Nowhere Boy)
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 65
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 66
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 67
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 68
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 69
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 70
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 71
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 72
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 73
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - Romans on the Run (Centurion)
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 75
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 76
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 77
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 78
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 79
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 80
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 81
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - Where Cinematography Lives (ASC Clubhouse Renovation)
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 83
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 84
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 85
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - Post Focus: Lottery Ticket
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 87
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 88
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 89
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - Filmmakers’ Forum: David McFarland on Black Tulip
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 91
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 92
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 93
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - New Products & Services
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 95
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 96
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 97
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 98
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 99
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 100
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 101
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 102
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 103
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - International Marketplace
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - Classified Ads/Ad Index
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 106
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 107
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - ASC Membership Roster
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 109
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - Clubhouse News
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - 111
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - ASC Close-Up: Dejan Georgevich
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - September 2010 - Cover4
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