“Amazing work! Really powerful, incredibly poignant and timely. The film shows how we really are all connected — from Llamellín to New York City and beyond. The struggle against the "poverty of ethics" that Nélida speaks out against hit particularly close to home. I hope it inspires many as a call to action to “ponerse las botas.”
– Emily Thompson, Center for Latin American Studies, U.C. Berkeley
“I recommend to any school or anyone working in cultural studies, political studies, Spanish, Quechua, indigenous communities, languages, sociological studies, social anthropology….It would make a very valuable contribution to all these areas.”– Margherita Tortora, Director, Latin American FIlm Festival At Yale
"I think this film is so important and should become part of higher education curriculum...I'm teaching a course on Women and Activism in Latin America next fall and would love to show it."
– Irina Popescu, Latin American Studies, Bowdoin College
“Fascinating on multiple levels, offering particularly important insights into local politics, gender relations and migration in the Andes.”
– Geoff Goodwin, Dept. of International Development, University of Oxford
“This beautifully and sensitively filmed documentary is an excellent introduction to the gender issues faced by women in development. The main character, Nelida, is a Peruvian-born but U.S. educated woman who goes back to Peru to help her native village suffering from decades of political neglect. Her dilemma lies in adopting a bottom-up grassroots approach to community development or the top-down path of political power by running for mayor of her village. Opting for the latter, the film draws us into her campaign and the difficult obstacles faced by a woman seeking power, from the corruption of her opponents to the machismo of men still unprepared to cede power to a woman. Nelida navigates these obstacles with a blend of political naivete, vulnerability, determination, and frustration. The film is a poignant portrait of a woman in politics in a predominantly male-dominated society and the spectator finds him/herself drawn into her emotional landscape as she tries to fight back against prejudice and intimidation.
A story of feminine power, passion and resilience, this documentary is ideal for any setting seeking to spark a discussion about gender in development as well as discuss the pros and cons of top-down/bottom-up development.
– Abi Doukhan, philosophy professor, Queens College
Congratulations, it’s great! I think it focuses on women empowerment and the barriers that continue to exist for grassroots sustainable development to flourish and shift the paradigm of what development and sustainability means. You can tie it too to return migration. In Geography, the theory of return migration is powerful in that immigrants return to their place of birth (or their children) to live, and the contributions that they make to their (or their parent’s) birth community. I can also see those interested in identity and how certain cultural aspects (i.e. dance, music, tradition) allow one to feel connected to one’s land after moving away. For Peruanistas, this film can be important in showing how local politics work at the local level. The barriers, challenges, inspiration that guides political candidates to want to serve their communities.
“We greatly enjoyed seeing your films — they capture the spirit of Ancash.”
– Richard Burger, Dept. of Anthropology, Yale
“The film is wonderful. I am sending the about “Return to the Andes” to friends all over the place. You have so well captured the very special atmosphere in the Andes, the resilience of the people, their creativity and their needs. Please give my congratulations to all the people who have cooperated in this excellent project.”
– Inge Bolin, anthropologist, Vancouver Island University
“Highly recommended for people working in Sustainable Development, Gender Issues, International Business, Indigenous studies.... Capitalism is not going anywhere....indigenous women have to be actors in this economy... the film shows how they can do that, by working together instead of against each other.”
– Sonia Manriquez, Center for Latin American Studies, Indiana Universiry
“The trailer for your new film shows me how much you’ve grown, and found a way to convey the power and energy of the Peruvian people. Congratulations.”
– John Cohen (legendary ethnographic filmmaker and musician)
“I love the film! You stood up to to all those machistas in politics. I love the way you stood up for your town, yourself, your dreams, full of integrity.”
– Cynthia Paniagua, Dance and Performance Studies Educator