Browse Films

Tell a Friend

Against the Grain: An Artist's Survival Guide to Peru

by Ann A Kaneko

Is freedom of expression a right or a privilege?

Watch Trailer

In 1989, Alfredo Marquez used an image of Mao in an artwork. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. For every artist, the need to create and be heard is as basic as food and shelter. But what happens when you live in a country where the state clamps down on free thinkers, forcing artists to censor themselves? Four Peruvian visual artists, including Marquez, defy this tyranny through their work and ignite change, challenging ordinary people to speak out. Spanning two decades of corrupt governments and inept leaders, this film tells the story of these inspiring artists.

quoteA must-see film for those who study the Americas--and, for those interested in expanding their Asian American politics, culture, and race and ethnic relations curricula.
Russell C. Leong, UCLA Amerasia Journal

quoteA brilliant, reflexive film about the empowering potential of art, Against the Grain: An Artists Survival Guide to Per inspires us to bear witness, moves us to anger and tears, and possibly mobilizes us to action.
Janet Walker, Professor, Film and Media Studies, UCSB

quoteIts acute observations about the contemporary art scene in Per's vibrant but troubled society make it compulsory watching for all who are concerned with the intersections of art and politics.
Carolyn Dean, Professor, History of Art & Visual Culture, UCSC

quote...enormously timely and a must pedagogical tool for students of human rights, sociology, and the Americas.
Macarena G?mez-Barris, Assistant Professor, Sociology and American Studies and Ethnicity, USC

quote...important for research about not just Peru and art, but also about government oppression, global human rights, ethics, censorship, womens studies, and cultural studies.
Meg Garrett, Media Studies Librarian, Honnold Library, Claremont Colleges

More Reviews


  • Best Documentary, DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival
  • Best Emerging Director, Asian American Int'l Film Festival
  • Best of the Fest, San Francisco Latino Arts VideoFest
  • Honorable Mention, Festival Internacional de Cine de los Derechos Humanos
  • Cine Las Americas International Film Festival
  • New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival
  • San Francisco International Latino Film Festival
  • Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival

Visit the official website for Against the Grain: An Artist's Survival Guide to Peru

Against the Grain: An Artist's Survival Guide to Peru

buy film

order policy

stream film

related films