Social issues - Completed 2015

Is it possible to adapt a teaching methodology to the diverse realities in a country as Peru? THE SIGNAL investigates and discovers the potential and talents of children and their teacher, whose efforts are not always recognized by the education system, in a rural school in the Peruvian highlands.

& Awards

Ventana Sur 2015
Video Library
    • Year of production
    • 2015
    • Genres
    • Social issues, Children's, Documentary
    • Countries
    • PERU
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 0 - 0.3 M$
    • Duration
    • 90 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Leandro PINTO LE ROUX
    • Writer(s)
    • Leandro PINTO LE ROUX
    • Producer(s)
    • Miguel BARREDA DELGADO (Vía Expresa Cine y Video SRL)
    • Synopsis
    • In Public School 40599, located in Nuevo Pillone, in the region of Arequipa, Peru, nearly 4500 meters above sea level, a teacher and eighteen students are unknowingly developing a novel educational method as a result of the adaptation to their reality of contents required by the Ministry of Education. Set amidst the National Park of Salinas and Aguada Blanca, the school allows the children to acquire knowledge through their relationship with the environment, recognizing its value and empowering the children who are part of a forgotten culture. Every monday they have to walk on average 10 km (6 miles) to obtain basic services such as education and health. Their empowerment is made visible in the film through the use of different expressive channels such as art, music, or photography. This is embodied in the form of drawing animation and stop motion sequences done with the children instead of the usual interview format. We did this to avoid facing them to the pressure of answering a questionnaire in front of a camera, a form of pressure very similar to the one they have to face daily by the traditional education system. These sequences then become the voices of these children who speak to us about their own concerns, their life in the natural protected area, their boarding school, their future and their community's future.
      Julio Machaca, the principal teacher of the school, whose invaluable efforts have made it possible for these children between 6 and 12 years old to receive an education, drove the creation of a shelter that allows the children to avoid the daily walks. The shelter, although, is not yet officially recognized by the Ministry of Education. Besides the children and the teacher must deal with the challenge of living next to a hydroelectric dam that caused the relocation of the school 10 years ago to a much more hostile place which does not provide basic services such as clean water. That's why the parents of the children have a conflict with the company that constructed the dam. This same dam provides water to the growing mining industry in Arequipa, Peru's second city.
      THE SIGNAL offers a view of - and a way forward - for the complicated field of education and serves as a mirror to build a critique of our own way of life and society.