Peru has not done well out of popular culture – here in the UK it’s almost universally known as the birth place of Paddington Bear, sent abroad by his Aunt Lucy with just an old hat (a gift from his Uncle Pastuzo) and a suitcase full of marmalade sandwiches.
Sending a small, unaccompanied bear half-way across the world to a large and dangerous city like London is perhaps not the sort of behaviour Peruvians would ideally want to be known for, but it’s a lot better than the country’s depiction in the Indiana Jones films.
In Raiders of the Lost Ark, the franchise opens with Indy (Harrison Ford) exploring an ancient Peruvian temple before being chased out of the jungle by the Hovitos – an uncomplimentary fictionalising of the Jibito tribe – who are in league with Indy’s nemesis, Rene.
As if being shown as simple, easily conned folk who fall under the charms of an obvious villain with a bad fake accent wasn’t insulting enough, Peru also had to endure Hawaii standing in for its own lush landscape in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
And the ignominy doesn’t end there.
Between the two Indy films, this historic land was depicted as the hiding place of choice for war criminals in the Louis Gossett Jr. action film Aces: Iron Eagle III.
But now there’s a new film – see below – showcasing Peru’s rich history and status as “one of the greatest civilisations of all time”.
Commissioned by tourism agency Marca Peru, the film highlights how the nation’s historical beauty sits comfortably alongside today’s modern infrastructure, combining to offer the perfect holiday.
Given its depictions on the big screen, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that the campaign includes the strap line: “Don’t Watch the Film, Live it”….