My Bolivia: Remembering What I Never Knew

57 min. Alturas Films. Mybolivia.net. 2017. $75. ISBN unavail.
Gr 9 Up—As a young child, Ricardo Tejada-Flores would tell other children that his grandfather had been president of a distant country. As he grew older, his desire to find out more about the history of his family led him to travel to Bolivia to find out about his family's past—the good and the bad. As he talks to people after arriving in Bolivia, almost no one remembers his grandfather: José Luis Tejada Sorzano, president of Bolivia from 1934–36. As he travels to the countryside where his family once lived, he finds people who do remember; among them, his grandfather's godson. As Tejada-Flores discovers more about his family, he finds some parts of his family's history he's not proud of, such as their time as slave owners and the association of a Nazi with some of their lands. Tejada-Flores reaches out to the people now living on the land that belonged to his family and works with them in the hopes of making clean water available. A strong, clear narration and text translations accompany the documentary, which is full of not only scenes from Bolivia past and present but also of images of historical pictures and documents. A captivating look at part of Bolivia's history and an interesting insight into the lives of one family.
VERDICT Recommended for purchase, especially for use in geography and history units.

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