Grand Prize Winner: Heerlen / Aachen DMFF Award 2020
This film portrays five Aymara women who have never before left their homes in Bolivia in their quest to climb the highest peak in the Americas: Aconcagua in Argentina. The five of them lead unassuming lives, in service of their spouses, families and climbing expeditions. But they too have their dreams. One day they leave their homes and head for the mountains.
Dora, Cecilia, Liita, Lidia and Elena seize the opportunity to undertake their own expedition. They head for the hills in traditional clothing: ‘After all, you can’t visit the mountain in jeans.’ Higher and higher they climb, from camp to camp, in the Aconcagua Provincial Park. They provide a voice to women who are traditionally silent and, en route, they discover their inner strengths.
Now they are known as the ‘Climbing Cholitas’. ‘Chola’ is a derogatory Spanish word for mixed race, but for their adventures, it has become a badge of honour. They even have their own wikipedia page. [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholita_Climbers ]
When freelance filmmaker Jaime Murciego read about their story, he contacted them and flew to Bolivia. When he listened to their story, he wanted to make it more widely known. In 2015, Murciego made his first short documentary, ‘Boxgirls’, which was selected for dozens of festivals.