Between 1980 and 1992 Peru experienced a period of violence, particularly in the Andean region, because of the uprising of the Maoist group Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) and the actions of the paramilitary and state armed forces. By 1990 the conflict finally reached Lima, the capital city of Peru. Claudia Llosa claims in her film that the trauma experienced by women who were raped by members of Sendero Luminoso was passed on to their children through the milk from their breasts (although no allusions are made about rapes by other forces in the conflict), thus this period of violence continues to effect not only those who experienced it, but the next generation as well. Llosa’s work is a psychological as well as sociological approach to the 12 years of conflict, and is critical of Sendero Luminoso actions.
Upon receiving the Golden Bear at Berlinale in Berlin, Magaly Solier was asked by Claudia Llosa to sing in Quechua. After Magaly Solier addressed the audience and accepted the award, she was approached by the director of Berlinale, who made gestures to her to put down the award and continue speaking. At this point Magaly Solier reservedly stated that she would speak in Quechua, and performed a speech and song that has been hailed as unifying by many Peruvian people who hold affinity to Llosa’s work.