So you’ve seen all the Argentine political thrillers Netflix has to offer. And you’ve made your way through all the Cinema Novo films you could find online. So if you’re hankering for some other type of Latin American cinema, coming from a country that perhaps doesn’t quite has as storied a film industry, may we recommend you check out what Peru’s budding filmmakers have been up to?

Whether tackling spirituality in the Andes, haunted LGBTQ romances by the sea, or grappling with the socioeconomic issues afflicting the country in thrillers and documentaries alike, the following 11 films give a varied look at this South American country. The best part? They’re all available to stream online, so check the full list below and program your very own Peruvian Film Festival from the comfort of your own couch.

1

Icaros: A Vision

Production Year 2016

Available on Amazon

Synopsis

Her medical options exhausted, an American woman travels to the Amazon in search of a miracle. At a healing center, she finds hope in the form of the psychedelic plant known as ayahuasca. With her perception forever altered, she bonds with a young indigenous shaman who is treating a group of psychonauts seeking transcendence, companionship, and the secrets of life and death. Thanks to the shaman who is losing his eyesight, she learns to confront her susto (the disease of fear.) Set in an actual Ayahuasca retreat in Peru, the movie features real shamans and indigenous non-actors from the Shipibo community. Many aspects of the film are based on co-director Leonor Caraballo’s true experiences who battled breast cancer as the shoot began. Although she dedicated herself to the project until the very end, sadly she died before she could see the film finished.


Film Details

Director Leonor Caraballo Matteo Norzi
Country Peru United States
Genre Drama
Writer Leonor Caraballo Matteo Norzi Abou Farman.
Producer Abou Farman Aziz Isham Matteo Norzi
Production Year 2016
Running Time 84 minutes
2

Contracorriente

Country Peru
Production Year 2009

Available on Amazon

Synopsis

Winner of the World Cinema Audience Award at Sundance 2010, Contracorriente dealt sensitively and elegantly with the dilemma faced by those who find themselves in love with two people at the same time. When those loved ones are of different sexes, the emotions become even more conflicted. And when one of them is pregnant with child – your child – a whole host of other factors come into play. It is Miguel, a young fisherman on the northern coast of Peru, who finds himself torn between the duty and affection he feels for his wife, Mariela, who is carrying his baby, and the sheer desire provoked by the enigmatic figure of Santiago, his male lover. The film resisted the urge to descend into telenovela-style histrionics and instead crafted a tender and honest story of how decent people arrive in such situations. Few films have crafted such an empathetic portrayal of adultery.

Nick MacWilliam

Film Details
Undertow
Director Javier Fuentes-León
Country Peru
Genre Drama
Writer Javier Fuentes-León
Producer Javier Fuentes-León
Production Year 2009
Running Time 100 minutes
3

Madeinusa

Director Claudia Llosa
Country Peru
Production Year 2006
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Courtesy of The Match Factory
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Courtesy of The Match Factory
madeinusa 1
Courtesy of The Match Factory
madeinusa
Still from Madeinusa

Available on Amazon

Synopsis

Named after its protagonist, Madeinusa is a story about three Holy days in the life of a small Peruvian town of Manayaycuna—literally “the town no one can enter” in Quechua). The young Madeinusa (played by Magaly Solier) has been set to play the festival’s Mater Dolorosa during their Semana Santa festivities, a time when no sin is allowed in the town. But when she meets a young stranger from Lima, she’ll begin rethinking her world and the traditional strictures that have ruled her life.

Manuel Betancourt

Film Details

Director Claudia Llosa
Country Peru
Genre Drama
Writer Claudia Llosa
Producer Antonio Chavarrías Claudia Llosa José María Morales
Production Year 2006
Running Time 100 minutes
4

Buscando a Gastón

Country Peru
Production Year 2014

Available on Netflix

Synopsis

Chef Gastón Acurio is synonymous with Peruvian cuisine. He preside over a long (long long!) list of Peruvian restaurants in his home country and in many others around the world, and has been instrumental in putting his national dishes at the center of his own famed culinary style. Julia Patricia Perez’s documentary on the Lima-born chef takes viewers behind the counter to see where he gets his inspiration from, following his travels around the world and seeing his culinary prowess up close and personal.

Manuel Betancourt

Film Details
Finding Gaston
Director Julia Patricia Perez
Country Peru
Genre Documentary
Writer Julia Patricia Perez
Producer Julia Patricia Perez Ed Talavera
Production Year 2014
Running Time 80 minutes
5

When Two Worlds Collide

Country Peru
Production Year 2016

Available on Netflix

Synopsis

In this tense and immersive tour de force, audiences are taken directly into the line of fire between powerful, opposing Peruvian leaders who will stop at nothing to keep their respective goals intact. On the one side is President Alan Garcia, who, eager to enter the world stage, begins aggressively extracting oil, minerals, and gas from untouched indigenous Amazonian land. He is quickly met with fierce opposition from indigenous leader Alberto Pizango, whose impassioned speeches against Garcia’s destructive actions prove a powerful rallying cry to throngs of his supporters. When Garcia continues to ignore their pleas, a tense war of words erupts into deadly violence.


Film Details

Director Heidi Brandenburg Mathew Orzel
Country Peru
Genre Documentary
Producer Taira Akbar
Production Year 2016
Running Time 100 minutes
6

Hija de la laguna

Country Peru
Production Year 2015

Available on Netflix

Synopsis

Nélida lives in the Andes and communes with water spirits. Her connection to her natural environment is what tethers her to this land she grew up in. But now, in the midst of the gold rush in Perú she finds herself needing to take on mining companies who are too keen on accessing the precious resources under Nélida’s lake. Ernesto Cabellos’ urgent documentary chronicles this young woman’s fight (after going to law school in the city and promising her family she’d stand up for them) as well as the environmental effects that mining has had on the Peruvian landscape, offering stark reminders of how industry can ravage natural ecosystems that once sustained us.

Manuel Betancourt

Film Details
Daughter of the Lake
Director Ernesto Cabellos
Country Peru
Genre Documentary
Writer Ernesto Cabellos
Producer Nuria Frigola Torrent
Production Year 2015
Running Time 87 minutes
7

Viejos amigos

Country Peru
Production Year 2014

Available on Netflix

Synopsis

Three old men reunite at a friend’s wake and decide to take off with his ashes. Hijinks ensue, of course, as they reminisce about their long-running friendships, head to a soccer game being played in their home town, and try to honor their deceased friend’s wishes of having his ashes strewn in the sea near their town Callao.


Film Details
Good Old Friends
Director Fernando Villaran Lujan
Country Peru
Genre Comedy
Writer Gonzalo Ladines Fernando Villaran Lujan
Production Year 2014
Running Time 93 minutes
8

The Debt

Production Year 2015

Available on Netflix

Synopsis

This U.S./Peruvian/Spanish co-production follows Oliver (Stephen Dorff) as he muses whether a lucrative deal purchasing the debts of Peruvian landowners will positively impact the lives of people in that country, including a nurse (played by Elsa Olivero), a farmer (Amiel Cayo), and his son (Marco Antonio Ramirez). Shot with washed out colors that make the clinical and bureaucratic drama being played out pop out, Barney Elliot’s film (originally titled Oliver’s Deal) is a probing thriller about the effects current transnational deals have on local economies and everyday people.


Film Details

Director Barney Elliott
Country Peru Spain United States
Genre Thriller Drama
Writer Barney Elliott
Producer Ignasi Estapé Darren Goldberg Chris Marsh Ibon Cormenzana
Production Year 2015
Running Time 99 minutes
9

Humano

Country Argentina
Production Year 2013
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Humano

Available on Netflix

Synopsis

“What are you looking for?” “The reason why we’re here.” Mixing live footage, animation, and the kind of New Agey rhetoric you’d find in a “white guy goes on a spiritual quest in the Andes” documentary, Humano follows Argentine filmmaker Alan Stivelman as he seeks answers to life’s biggest questions. So, if you like your breathtaking shots of the Andes mixed in with some questionable spiritual awakening narrative strands featuring Peruvian indigenous people teaching Alan about the world as we know it, this journey to the high mountains may just be what you’re looking for.

Manuel Betancourt

Film Details

Director Alan Stivelman
Country Argentina
Genre Documentary
Writer Alan Stivelman
Producer Alan Stivelman
Production Year 2013
Running Time 87 minutes
10

El Mudo

Country Peru
Production Year 2013

Available on FlixLatino’s YouTube Channel

Synopsis

Someone is out to get Constantino Zegarra. At least that’s what Constantino Zegarra believes — and he has his reasons. His car window is smashed, he receives a career-killing demotion, and then, while driving at night, he’s hit in the neck by what appears to have been a stray bullet. Or was it? Constantino is a judge with no sympathy for sob stories and an impressive conviction rate. He could have any number of enemies.


Film Details

Director Daniel Vega Vidal Diego Vega Vidal
Country Peru
Genre Drama
Writer Manuel Arias Daniel Vega Vidal Diego Vega Vidal
Producer Daniel Vega Vidal Diego Vega Vidal
Production Year 2013
Running Time 86 minutes
11

Octubre

Country Peru
Production Year 2010

Available on FlixLatino’s YouTube Channel

Synopsis

Clemente, an extremely quiet pawnbroker, is Sofia’s hope to avoid solitude. Being his neighbor and a single woman, she spends her days as an October’s Lord of the Miracle’s worshipper. One day, Clemente is left with a newborn baby who seems to be the outcome of a sudden relationship with a disappeared prostitute. While Clemente looks for the baby’s mother, Sofia enjoys taking care of this baby in Clemente’s house and thus discovering her life as a mother. Through the arrival of both of them to his life, Clemente has an opportunity to ponder about the emotional attachments he has never had.


Film Details
October
Director Daniel Vega Vidal Diego Vega Vidal
Country Peru
Genre Drama
Writer Daniel Vega Vidal Diego Vega Vidal
Producer Daniel Vega Vidal Diego Vega Vidal
Production Year 2010
Running Time 83 minutes