Milk of Sorrow, The (2006): Peruvian Claudia Llosa’s Oscar Nominee

Peru (La Teta Asustada)
Peruvian Claudia Llosa’s second feature, “The Milk of Sorrow” was one of the five nominees for the 2009 Best Foreign Language Oscar.  The title of this thematically interesting, exquisitely shot political melodrama, refers to a curse in a particular historical time.
Fausta (Magaly Solier), the story’s heroine, suffers from “the milk of sorrow,” an illness transmitted through mother’s milk by women who have been violated or mistreated during Peru’s war of terror.
Though the war has officially ended, Fausta’s life is a reminder of the atrocities, because “the illness of fear” stole her soul.  Now, her mother’s sudden death forces her to confront her fears and the secret that is hidden inside her. As a protective shield that repels disgusting intruders, she has inserted a potato into her vagina
The ensuing story unfolds as a dramatic search for re-awakening, a journey from fear and oppression to freedom and humanity.
For Claudia Llosa, the movie is a metaphor for breakdown: “Peru is a repressed country that can only express itself via its unconscious: its myths, its fears and traumas. The body of a bleeding woman expresses emptiness that needs to be filled, anguish that needs to rest, terror of coming across something different, of losing control. We live in an indecisive, repressed country whose main informer is its body. But memory is not the only aim of the battle. How does the process of burying a painful past function? Does more memory require more forgiveness and reconciliation? An effort for forgiveness is required, as well as one to preserve the history of an oral culture that has been repressed by an officially imposed history.
About the director:
Claudia Llosa was born in 1976 in Lima, Peru. After studying Communication at the University of Lima, she obtained a Masters Degree in Film and TV at the Superior School of Arts and Spectacles TAI, Madrid, Spain. Claudia began working in advertising and television for Peruvian and foreign companies. She then started her own production company in Perú, Vela Films, and directed her first feature, “Madeinusa,” in 2006.
“Madeinusa” premiered as an Official Selection of Sundance and the Rotterdam Film Fests. The film has won more than twenty awards in different prestigious international festivals, including the International Critics Award (Fipresci) in Rotterdam Fest.
“Madeinusa” was released in more than 20 territories all over the world.