Limitless Cinema in Broken English

April 1, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 9:39 pm

John left a comment in my wordpress blog about some interesting Mexican films which I have never heard of. So I think I should try to find some information about the films in John’s list.

1.REED: INSURGENT MEXICO (1973, Paul Leduc)

This is a comment on REED by Mike in

“This film is earnest, honest, and quite moving and many of its images tend to linger in the mind. The slow, labored progress of a wagon wheel representing the peasants’ own journey; the dusty desolation of a churchyard cemetery after the chaos of battle; an errant box of dynamite falling off of a wagon but not breaking. True to history and an aesthetic of justice and liberty, Leduc’s film makes us understand the power of passionate journalism to change the world for the better.”

2.CANOA (1976, Felipe Cazals)

Somehow the synopsis of this film reminds me of the Bangkok Massacre in 1976. What is sad is that while the true event in CANOA happened in a rural area in Mexico, the true event here happened in the capital of Thailand.

Synopsis from

“Canoa is a compelling story based on the actual event that occurred on September 14th 1968 in the mountainous town of San Miguel de Canoa. A group of employees from Puebla University set out on a hiking excursion to a nearby mountain. Mistaken for radical communist agitators by a domineering local priest, a mob of townspeople are incited to riot, resulting in the brutal murders of several of the young men.”

You can read more about this film from:

3.THE BRICKLAYERS (1976, Jorge Fons)

“When a worker is found murdered on the construction side, the investigation swiftly turns from things criminal to the political circumstances surrounding the building itself.”

4.THE DEVIL AND THE LADY (1983, Ariel Zuniga)

Synopsis from New York Times’ website:

“With little dialogue, no specific storyline, and subject matter dealing with murder, hate, sex, and an erotic nightclub act, this film focuses on a performer named America (Catherine Jourdan) who goes “on the road” with her new lover Jimmy (Carlos Castañon), a thief. America is dodging a former lover, so life on the road does not look to be easy, and it is anything but virtuous. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide”

Catherine Jourdan, the leading actress of this film, is also the leading actress of EDEN AND AFTER (1970, Alain Robbe-Grillet, A+).

5.ROMELIA’S SECRET (1988, Busi Cortes)

Synopsis from

“An elder woman (Romelia), her daughter and her grandchildren take a few days on holidays to visit a small town outside the city. The town makes Romelia melancholy and her daughter wants to find out about the mystery of her unknown father.”

6.BATHROOM INTIMACIES (1989, Jaime Humberto Hermosillo)

Synopsis from

“Gabriela works at a bank and lives with her parents while her husband Roberto gets a grant as a writer. One night, Roberto comes home drunk and Gabriela locks herself in the bathroom. He gets in, they argue, and he abuses her. The next morning, her mother confesses to Gabriela that she has had lovers and advises her not to put up with Roberto as she did with Gabriela’s father. Roberto ends up committing suicide and the mother consoles Gabriela, telling her she has many things to accomplish.”

7.ANGEL OF FIRE (1992, Dana Rotberg)

Synopsis from

“In a rundown circus on the outskirts of Mexico City, 13 year-old Alma earns a living as a trapeze artist and fire breather. When her fellow performers find out that she is pregnant, Alma is expelled from the circus. She lives on the streets until she meets a troupe of traveling puppeteers that preach the word of god. Alma sees a promise in them, a glimpse of hope. This is the story of a young girls’ search for redemption and forgiveness.”

8.LOLO (1993, Francisco Athie)

Synopsis from

“Dolores Chimal, also known as “Lolo”, is an outcast boy who lives in the suburbs of Mexico City. After being assaulted and losing his job, as a result of a week in the hospital, he accidentally kills the local moneylender (an old woman) when trying to rob his mother’s golden watch that she had pawned. Lolo is then hunted and blackmailed by everybody but his girlfriend, Sonia, who is forced to sell herself at a men’s club to help him. With money in their hands, Sonia and Lolo share the feeling of guilt and shame, and with the events in the neighborhood that have united them to such degree they decide to flee together.”

9.TWO CRIMES (1995, Roberto Sneider)

Synopsis from

“After being falsely accused of a murder, Marcos (Alcazar) runs away to the small and quiet town of Cuevano, where he has relatives. There he finds that the family matters are more complicated than his, and that the complexities of small-town life are richer (and more dangerous) than his apparently sophisticated life in the big city.”

10.I FORGOT, I DON’T REMEMBER (1999, Juan Carlos Rulfo)

Synopsis from Docpoint Film Festival:…&vuosi=2008

“Juan Carlos Rulfo returns to the scenery of his late father’s, Juan Rulfo’s, youth to the countryside of Western Mexico, the village of San Gabriel.
The search for the father, one of the most famous writers in Mexico (The Burning Plain, Pedro Páramo), turns into a story about the forgotten Mexico and the frailty of memories as the stories of the village’s elderly are a mix of memories and the lapse of them, imagination, myths and reality. According to the director, the result can be described as a docu-fiction. The warm documentary, accompanied by black and white scenic shots and Juan Rulfo’s writings, is a tribute to the writer and the father, as well as to all those who knew him even though they may no longer remember him.”

11.IN THE PIT (2006, Juan Carlos Rulfo)

Synopsis from Docpoint Film Festival:…&vuosi=2008

“”The work will never end. We will.” The work in question is a huge bridge construction site snaking through the heart of Mexico City. The bridge, which will become the world’s largest two-storey highway, is being built day and night, unceasingly. During the nights convoys of super heavy trucks bring new gigantic materials over which the herds of workers swarm during the day, carrying on their endless task. The Nights are magical, while the days are hot, wet and dusty. And through the days the men can be heard singing.”

12.THE CITRILLO’S TURNS (2006, Felipe Cazals)



  1. This is a good place for short reviews of mexican cinema

    Comment by John — July 16, 2008 @ 7:59 pm

  2. Romelia´s secret form the new york times

    Romelia’s granddaughters have always believed that granny (Dolores Beritain) was a widow. When they accompany her to her hometown to look over a property she has recently inherited, they are surprised to discover that for all those years she was only separated from from her husband, Dr. Roman (Pedro Armendariz, Jr.), and that it is he who has only recently died and left her the inheritance. There is a mystery here that goes back to the 1930s, and through a series of flashbacks, the story is told. This multi-generational drama of revenge and honor is based on Roman, The Widower, by Rosario Castellanos. ~ Clarke Fountain, All Movie Guide

    About angel of FIRE
    Mexico, 1992 (95 min). Directed by Dana Rotberg
    Set in a rundown circus on the outskirts of Mexico City, “Angel of Fire” is both a beautiful tale in the tradition of magical realism and a tragic feminist fable. The film tells the story of 13-year-old Alma (Evangelina Sosa), a trapeze artist and fire-eater, who gets pregnant, finds herself homeless, then seeks redemption in a group of traveling, religious puppeteers. The film beautifully integrates a sense of mythical otherworldliness with the harsh and grim reality of everyday life. It is visually sumptuous and thematically provocative as it asks us to question our assumptions about such ideas as femininity, sexuality, religion and innocence.

    Comment by John — July 16, 2008 @ 8:00 pm

  3. Thank you very much for your link and information, John. 🙂

    Comment by celinejulie — July 16, 2008 @ 10:48 pm

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