Vida Ferrea (Steel Life)



52 min

Steel Life journeys with the Central Peruvian Railway during the week of Peru’s most important national holiday, Independence Day, July 28. The train traverses steep gradients, carrying minerals from Cerro de Pasco – at 4,380m, one of the highest cities in the world – to the Port of Callao on the shore of the Pacific Ocean. The film touches upon the lives of individual Peruvians who live in the main cities the train passes through. Peruvians who, despite sharing the same railway, have different experiences and daily lives, each one on different journeys. We find a century-old bar that refuses to disappear; a nurse who tries to save children with so much lead in their blood, they can’t make it through a metal detector; and a city that devours itself along with the memories and health of its people. Watching these stories unfold against the proud celebrations of “independence”, gained 200 years ago, makes for mixed feelings. How much have things really changed?

Original Language



Manuel Bauer










Carlos Cardenas

About the filmmaker.

Manuel Bauer was born in 1974 Lima, Peru. He graduated in Communication Sciences at Lima University in 1997 and then won a Fulbright to pursue an MA in film (2000) at the New School in New York, where he studied with Allan Berliner and discovered documentary from a new perspective. Moving to Madrid, Spain after that, he started working as an editor on feature documentaries and fiction films with directors such as Marcelo Piñeyro, David Baute, Belén Macías, Melina León and Alex de la Iglesia. Bauer directed and shot the short films Eating Dreams, Short, The Soul Extractor, La Novena (finalist at a Canal Plus Contest) and Uprooted. Vida Ferrea is his first feature film.

Filmotor - sales company

[email protected]