Unlike many other cities where the mansions of the wealthy are to be found in the hills, the well-heeled citizens of La Paz live down in the city’s southern district. Here life goes on in large houses surrounded by stunning parks, undisturbed by noise, polluted air or commotion. It’s a dream world, one immense island of comfort, where two different spheres and perceptions of reality coexist side by side. On the one hand there’s Carola, the mother of Patricio, Bernada and Andrés who are rich and speak Spanish. On the other there is the staff of the house, Wilson and Marcelina, who speak Aymara, the indigenous language of the Bolivian proletariat.
The drama unfolds imperceptibly, without narrative sophistry and hidden twists. The story follows the family’s daily monotony until certain events put an end to their life of plenty. The film concentrates on the last days of an upper class family at a time when the country is gripped by colossal social upheaval.
Juan Carlos Valdivia: “My intention with this script was to move away from Aristotelian structure, i.e. a three-act script dominated by plot. ZONA SUR tells the story of its characters and the events that make up the inertia that leads naturally to the conclusion. I tried to tell an honest story, while taking a step away from easy discourses. This is what I call a Frankenstein family, made up of fragments of personal experiences and of people close to me. Although it is not an autobiography, it is personal.”