Stories about migrant workers are common these days; for better or worse. In María Paz González‘s LINA FROM LIMA, we see a different perspective on this theme. She introduces us to Lina (Magaly Solier), a Peruvian woman working for a higher class family in Santiago, Chile. Lina is a strong woman, who is on the verge of reinventing herself in a new world.
Lina is in her mid 30s, she left Peru to get a better paying job in Chile. For the past 10 years, she has been working hard to send money back to her family, which includes her mother and teenage son.
Now Lina finds herself alone in a big city; realizing that her family does not need her as much. Her husband left her and started a new family as well. Isolated, sad and in need of a change, Lina must find a way to live her own life.
This is González’s first fiction feature; her background is in documentary filmmaking. She spoke with me during TIFF to discuss the process of making the film, working with Magaly Solier, and making a film about a woman who is now ready to live life for herself.
Through her documentary work, González came across many migrant women with stories similar to Lina. At first, the idea was to make a documentary about their experiences. Later on, González thought it would also make a great fiction film. Her idea was to make a film about seeing Lina’s day-to-day experiences… her various emotions, and her means of coping with living alone away from loved ones.
We talked about casting Solier in this role; she is a well known actor in her own right. At first, Solier was not sure the role was for her. However, Magaly could relate to the emotions Lina experiences being displaced and isolated from her family and loved ones. The theme of migrant workers displaced from home was also important to Solier.
We also touched upon the musical aspects of the film filled with iconography and great lyrics that help us understand Lina even better. All songs are original for the film. Solier and González worked on all the songs together along with Solier’s musical producers. The music is a mix of Peruvian sounds with lyrics that speak to Lina’s state of mind and heart.
The result is a smart look at migrant life without many of the stereotypes we’re used to seeing on-screen. Lina works hard and is isolated from family and friends, yes… Yet she is also strong and independent with a thirst for life. Lina From Lima hits all the right tones (pun intended) with its beautiful colours and musical breaks; only made better by Solier’s strong screen presence. A festival favourite.
Les dejo mi entrevista en español con María Paz González aquí también.