Film: 5336

Places + Locations | 1950 | Sound | Colour

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Synopsis:

Images of Ecuador. The monument in the middle of the world. Cityscapes of Guayaquil with famous monuments. Footage of the San Lorenzo railway from Quito to Guayaquil with views of the countryside, passengers and street vendors. Beautiful landscapes with volcanoes, possibly Cotapaxi, Cayambe and Chimbazo. Villagers walking on country roads with llamas and donkeys. Centre of Quito with views of the Plaza de Independencia, Catholic cathedral and colonial streets. Street vendors and porters carrying things in busy market streets in Quito. Montage of churches, spires, domes and crosses, images of the Church of Santo Domingo, La Compania and various other unknown locations.
Villagers working in the countryside. Everyday life and market scenes in indigenous Andean city of Otavalo. Church procession of the Virgin. Scenes of country life, very good footage of traditional wool carding, dying, spinning, and weaving. Beautiful film of river, bridge, possibly San Francisco bridge, and waterfalls in densely forested area. Natural bathing pool in a mountain town, probably Banos. People crossing river on pulley system. Native rainforest animals held by indigenous man. Volcanoes from an aeroplane probably in the Cordillera Central, possibly Sangay and Tungurahua.

The large stone monument in el mitad del mundo, the centre of the world, topped with a globe in a desert landscape with blue skies. The plaque reads: latitud (latitude) 0 0' 0" linación magnetica 6'58 E. The monument stands against a bright sky, there is a large letter E on it. A close up shows that the stone globe is a map of the earth, it has a fine metal band encompassing it.

The dock of Guayaquil, Ecuador, busy with ships and the Malecon (seafront) promenade. A main road with cars runs between a street of grand colonial buildings and the palm tree filled Malecon park by the sea. People mill about in a square with fan palms, in front of a large stone colonial building, possibly a church. Passers by walk through grand arches down the city street in the sunshine. Locals walk through the park on the Malecon promenade, there is a large, semicircular monument, La Rotonda, to the liberators Simon Bolivar and Jose de San Martin, the statues of whom stand in the middle of the monument. The park is filled with lush green trees and plants, a colonial church spire can be seen behind the trees and there is a statue in a small plaza. It is a statue of Simn Bolívar, the liberator, framed by bright flowers, vines and other tropical foliage.

A passenger steam train crosses a small bridge with a river running below it in a mountain gulley, there are tree covered cliffs in the background. The train passes over another small bridge in grassy lowlands. It passes by the foot of the mountains, part of the great San Lorenzo railway from Quito to Guayaquil. The train traverses rocky mountain scenery. Graffiti painted on a rock in large black letters reads 'Donde pasaras la eternidad? Lee la Biblia' (Where will you spend eternity? Read the Bible). Close up of this same graffiti. From the train a steep drop can be seen on the right as the rails curve around the dry mountainside. Below in the valley a tarmac road snakes along by the riverside.

The train arrives in the city, a large group of people and shiny black cars wait by the rails, grand buildings can be seen in the background as the train pulls in to stop. Country men and women in traditional hats and ponchos descend from the second class carriage, a group of by standers by are waiting on the street below. The train is stopped next to a herd of cows, a woman in a hat and shawl holding a covered basket gets off the train and walks by them. As the train is stopped women sell food to passengers in a red carriage marked Quito Railway from the side of the rails, a woman passes something up to another woman in the window. Men in sombreros, traditional hats, exchange food for money with the passengers through the train windows.

A snow topped peak, possibly Cotopaxi, is in the distance of a street with a stone walled area, possibly a cemetery. A spiny bush is silhouetted against a rocky hillside. The snowy top of a mountain or volcano, surrounded by misty clouds rises above dense forest. The dry desert paramo filled with spiky plants and framed by two huge cacti. A large volcano, possibly Mount Cayambe or Chimborazo, against a blue sky with a landscape of cacti.

A group of women and children walk down a country road with the volcano in the distance. Three figures walk down a street of simple buildings in a wind swept village with the mountains in the background, the strong wind is blowing the trees. Two donkeys and a llama, loaded with straw, trot down a country lane with two peasant campesinos dressed in ponchos and sunhats. A small woman or girl holding a barrel on her back leads two llamas carrying sticks on their backs.

Neighbourhoods at the foothills of mountains on the outskirts of Ecuador's capital city, Quito. Panoramic view of the centre of Quito. View of Plaza de la Independencia, Square of Independence, Quito, from above, with the tall Liberty Statue monument at it's centre, surrounded by fountains and trees. People walk in the sunshine through the square. People walking down a wide cobbled street with a large statue in the middle. Early colonial houses with wooden balconies on a hill with passers by. A view of the grand Cathedral steps leading to the domed entrance and arches in the Plaza de la Independencia. Men dressed in red ponchos and hats walk alongside the cathedral. The ornate entrance gates to the plaza. A view of the huge white presidential palace from the steps of the cathedral.

A woman sells oranges from a basket to another woman in a poncho, she has a tray piled high with them balanced on her head. In a busy main street a man dressed in black helps a street vendor, who is carrying a heavy stack of blankets on his back, get up off the pavement. A campesino in a hat runs along the cobbled street carrying two huge bulks of goods, using a rope tied around his head, strapping them onto his back. Women in the background in the traditional dress watch him as he hurries by them, now balancing a wicker basket on top of the sacks. Another porter wearing a round white hat carries a large folded straw mat or mattress on his back, much bigger than he is, a small boy walks ahead of him behind a suited man with a walking stick. A man, not visible, hidden by the two huge crates he carries upon his back as he walks towards a bustling street. Three women in red headscarves, walking in a line, carry bundles of long poles past a dilapidated shop front. A man carries several wooden chairs stacked on his back and strapped to his head. A boy on a fast trotting horse rides through a brightly sunlit backstreet through an arch towards the camera.

View of the hilly Quito streets from the bell tower of a church. The large white cathedral towers above the small colonial houses. A small white church on the edge of a village, unknown location, with trees and fields in the background. A large white building, possibly a monastery stands in the middle of the town at the foothills of a mountain. Church spires and domes. Two large church domes. A smaller church with two spires against a mountainside. Ground level view of old colonial white church with a cross in the foreground. Very small and simple church with ruined stone cross. Front of Church of La Compania, Quito with baroque style spiral columns. Close up of stone angel on front of the church. Close up of carved details. Statue monument standing in front of the steps of San Francisco church in Quito, the church has two spires, a stone façade and serrated crenulations. Slow pan upwards showing the detail of the church. View of the spires from behind and the walled courtyard inside the church with gardens and a fountain. Monk in cassock walking through the garden courtyard past topiary bushes and fountain. Large dome of a church, unknown location.

Woman and child walk down sunny street in small village of mud houses with straw roofs. Two men carry stacks of straw or wood on their backs along the wide dusty village street as children weave around them. Horse drawn carts drive away down village road over stone bridge with hills and trees in the background. A campesino (country folk) couple drive a horse and three donkeys carrying large bulks down an agave lined dirt track. Two women with wide brim sombrero hats and long black skirts carry bulks or babies wrapped in cloth strapped to their backs down a stony path. Villagers walk down a mountain road with sharp bends. Landscape of fields and trees with hills in the background. Cornfields. Peasants work in the fields below some large dark rolling hills. Women collecting oats or barley, there is a field of maize in the background. Treetops blowing in the wind. A car drives away down a country road towards the mountains.

View of the small indigenous Andean city, Otavalo, Ecuador. A couple of women climb up some white stone steps in the foreground, the city and the mountains can be seen behind. The main square with palm tree and locals wearing ponchos and sunhats. The corner of a central street. A row of indigenous Quechua women walk down the street dressed in red and black ponchos and white garments underneath. A woman and two children from behind, dressed in the same traditional vestment walk down a cobbled street. A small girl in a hat and a black cape walks past quickly, turning to look at the camera. Two barefoot women in traditional dress sit on the edge of the pavement, one plays a guitar, the other holds a stick, a dog lies in a sunny doorway behind them. A semicircle of children dressed in ponchos sit in the middle of the cobbled street facing a child sat alone in front of them, they look like they could be playing a game. A child in poncho and hat sweeps out the cracks between the stone in the street with a stick. A barefoot woman with a straw brush also sweeps the street.

View of the city's bustling market square from above, possible the famous Plaza de los Ponchos, there are hundreds of people milling about and some simple stall structures around the edge. A mountainside divided into many small fields, like a patchwork quilt. Three women walking down a dusty road, one carries a child on her back, the others carry burdens, a small child runs along beside them. A woman and a child walk down the street, the woman has a huge tower of sticks on her back and the child has its own small bundle. A small girl in a black skirt, white cape and a hat hurries along holding a cloth parcel. Villagers walk down a wide road in the outskirts of the city.

Locals carrying their goods into the market square. A sea of people in traditional red and black ponchos in the market square buying, selling and exchanging goods. A woman dressed in black holds two pots as another examines them. A food vendor with a large long table covered in dishes sells food to a queue of people. Women sit on the floor with blankets laid out with onions and peppers, their now empty baskets beside them. Men examine ponchos which lie folded in piles on the ground. They are mainly red and black, some have white stripes. The market from above.

A group of people gather in the middle of the street of small white early colonial houses and buildings. Locals sit in their red and black ponchos in front of the church. A black robed virgin shaded by a white cloth emerges from the dark doorway of the church, carried by two men dressed in long black robes, into the street full of people. It is followed by a procession of men dressed in black and a long haired man in a red robe carrying a large cross. A woman, her face hidden by her wide brim hat, sits on the pavement holding a small statue of Jesus, wrapped in red cloth, in her lap, she arranges the cloth and a flag it is holding. Another small statue dressed in black with a sombrero, apparently in local traditional dress, is carried out of the church by another person in robes. A man in a red poncho and a straw hat holds a religious statue dressed identically so that it looks like him, though the statue appears to be of Jesus is very white compared to the indigenous skin tone. The procession in full swing now as a crowd of people walk, shuffling, along a road lined with basic wooden stalls, some carry flags or standards.

Some villagers with donkeys carrying loads walk over a bridge on the edge of a town in the mountains. On the edge of the track a man holding a stick trots by on a donkey. A woman walks up hill past a house with a straw roof carrying a large sack on her back. Panoramic of a cultivated landscape of crop fields, some tall trees and a darker mountainside in the distance. Closer view of fields divided into crops and trees. Hill side of fields and a farm building on the left. A small plateau with basic huts, surrounded by cornfields.

A woman with a dog herds a flock of sheep, in the background there is hilly farmland and further on the mountains. A girl sitting on the floor sorts through piles of wool. She is pulling it apart with her hands. Another woman sits on a large straw mat surrounded by piles of wool. She has two wooden hand brushes with metal teeth which she uses to brush out, or card, the wool. She takes the finished wool and places it at her side. Another woman dressed in white is sat to her left. She twists the wool into strands with her fingers and wraps the strands around her forearm creating one long piece of wool. They work together sitting at the edge of a cornfield. Now a girl dressed all in white spins the yarn on a long wooden apparatus with a spinning wheel. She winds the finished yarn from the spindle, which is a metal spike, onto her arm. Another woman crouches in front of a wood fire, stirring a steaming metal pot with two tongs. She lifts wool, dyed black, from the pot. Alongside her is a cloth laid out with drying clumps of wool. A woman dressed in black, wearing a blue head cloth, sits next to a spinning wheel, spins the wool into yarn, spinning it onto a large spindle which is already covered with a layer of red wool. She is turning the spinning wheel by hand. She moves the thread of yarn and wool up and down the spindle so that the spool of wool is even.

The spools of wool have been placed onto a straw mat at the feet of a man, one is inserted into a wooden canoe shaped bobbin, or shuttle as its known, he threads the end through a hole in the middle of it. He sits at a large wooden loom, outside amongst the corn, he is moving a large wooden comb like apparatus, known as a reed, back and forth. Each time he moves the reed back he pushes the shuttle through the vertical gap left between the two layers of wool, known as a shed. He then pulls the reed back to weave the wool yarns together with the filling yarn, or the weft (the transverse thread), that is in the wooden shuttle. By his feet are four poles which he pedals alternately. These are connected to four lengths of twine on the other side of the loom which move up and down. The twine is attached to and controls horizontal poles, or warp beams, which have the vertical lengths of yarn on them, known as the warp, the poles move up and down to weave the fabric. Now he cuts along the row of woollen threads with scissors, leaving a fringe on the fabric. The piece of cloth is hung on a line and brushed. He straightens it then brushes again, one brush in each hand on either side of the cloth.

A view of a mountainous landscape with trees and rooftops in the foreground. Two trees full of fruit or blossom stand on the hillside with a view of the mountains in the background. A patch of long stemmed plants with bright red flowers, gently sway in the breeze. A small red breasted bird sits on the brier of a flowering plant, silhouetted against the sky. A rocky river bank and a stony beach where two babbling streams converge. A large river rushes through a forested mountain valley. The torrent of white water bursts through a narrow stretch of rock. Water cascades down the rocks. It crashes up against the sides of the rocky gorge. The river flows down the deep gulley between two steep walls of vegetation covered rock.

A tiny white bridge crosses the deep chasm between the rocky cliffs, this is quite probably San Francisco bridge near Banos in Ecuador. From below the silhouettes of people cross over the narrow bridge. From above a group of men and a donkey trot across. The gulley below and the surrounding land is covered in plants and thickets, standing on a mound in the distance is a statue of the virgin. The river runs in the gorge below. White water swirls and eddies. Two figures cross the small bridge that leads onto a narrow mountain pass, going along the cliff's edge. A cross stands amongst the bushes that are blowing in the wind. A hand places a small piece of rock on a pile of stones at the base of the cross.

Bird's eye view of a town in a valley, surrounded by trees and mountains, possibly Banos, Ecuador. The town church gleams white in the sunlight, standing out from the small tiled roofs of the surrounding houses. A simple network of streets, at the edge of a large square palm trees sway in the wind. The houses stand amongst many trees, a road runs through the middle. A large square with a cross in the middle, scattered with small stalls and people, at the edge of the square some white colonial houses with tiled roofs. A two storey building with wooden balconies stands at the corner, below in the street are two fruit and vegetable stands. Two people sit on a cart driving oxen down a quiet road shadowed by large trees. A figure in the distance walks along a road which leads towards a tall but narrow waterfall, coming through a gap in the foliage of the steep surrounding cliffs. The water trickles down the rocky slope that is covered in tropical plants. Close up of the water running over the rock.

A spurt of water comes from a plant covered ledge in the cliffside. Water coming from two manmade spouts gushing into a pool. People swim up and down a large stone pool below the cliffs. Many local women stand in various states of undress with red and black cloth, arranging themselves on the ledges next to the pool. Youngsters splash and dive about in the water. Behind the pool and the women changing is a large cave in the cliff face. View of the town in the valley below, the waterfall in the background.

Sloping mountain sides create a valley going into the horizon, a narrow road on the valley floor, some houses and farmland. A series of small waterfalls trickle through the undergrowth of the mountainside, below is a small hut and some corn fields. A heavy fall plunges down from the mountain's edge into a river flowing through a densely forested landscape. View of the waterfall from below framed by flowers and ferns. The river rapids crash over rocks, ferns and flowers grow on the banks. The water rushes over the edge. A swirling pool of current. The waterfall is situated in a wide forested gorge with a large swerving river.

By a river with a strong current a man loads something onto a platform on a pulley that crosses the river along a cable strung from side to side. Now a boy helps a woman onto the platform and she crosses above the water. A close up of the roaring white water. Another passenger is crossing, on the other bank, standing on a cliff people pull a rope tight to move the platform the last bit of the way to the rocks on the other side. Two men cross a narrow bridge above a full flowing river on horseback. In the distance the meandering course of the river can be seen snaking through a wide and densely forested valley floor.

A squirrel monkey sits on the branch of a tree eating white fruit. The branches sway in the wind as it bites off bits of the fruit it is holding in one hand. A young indigenous man with a painted face, a feather headdress and strings of seeds around his neck, stands in the forest holding a black spider monkey. The pet monkey clutches onto his arm. It looks around, bewildered and curious. A hand stretches out its fingers, like a small thumb less human hand with shiny black skin and long fingers. The same man stand wearing more necklaces made of bone and teeth with a large red macaw perched on his shoulder. The macaw sits, tame on his left shoulder. A white woman in a red shirt and a skirt stands, arm outstretched holding the tail of a small brown furry creature possible a monkey or some kind of rainforest marsupial. A sloth very slowly crawls across the ground. It has two large front claws, a two toed sloth. Now sitting upright the white streak on its head is fully visible, it blinks and looks around. A close up shows a tiny dwarf monkey enclosed in a hand, its head sticking out the top and small claws reaching around the fingers. It opens and closes its mouth, apparently squealing.

From an aeroplane a range of mountains below are carpeted with white clouds, possibly the Cordillera Central. A snowy peak that rises over the top of the clouds is seen in the distance, possibly Mount Sangay. Closer now the peak is conical with a hole in the snow at the top. The cloud stops where the snow starts on the side of the volcano. The peak is not pointed but has a crater. Another peak in the distance now, the wing of the aeroplane is visible in the corner of the screen. This one has less cloud and is more rounded. From above inside the crater can be seen. The plane is now directly above the crater. Inside it is lined with clouds encompassed by the sinister looking jagged edge of the crater. Another volcano crater from above, carpets of cloud in the background. A view of the large snow covered crater. A black peak sticks through the dense clouds, possibly the active volcano Tungurahua. The peak is smoking. From above thick white smoke is pouring from several points in the mountains peak. A close up of one section reveals a large hole from which the smoke comes. The plane circles the mountain to show the entire peak shrouded in the smoke.


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