Programme

Focus

Mexico

»FOR ME, THE CINEMA CONSISTS OF IMAGES, LIGHT, TEMPO AND EMOTIONS. WITH PICTURES, I CONSTRUCT DISCOURSES.«
TATIANA HUEZO, TAZ, 18.02.2016

Within the framework of the official Year of Germany in Mexico 2016/17, the Dortmund | Cologne IWFF is proud to present a specific Country Focus on Mexico.

Mexico has one of the most extensive back catalogues of film in Latin America. One of the Mexican cinema pioneers was film-maker Adela Sequeyro who, in 1937, was to become the first female director to produce a talking movie: Nobody’s Wife. It is a melodrama set sometime in the 19th century in which she herself plays the leading role of a young woman who flees from her violent stepfather to seek refuge in Mexico’s Bohemian scene.

Since then, however, the number of women film-makers has increased, especially since the 1990s. In numerous films and documentaries, they expose the problems facing their homeland.

Mexico has a rich cultural heritage and is famous for high culture. The country also acts as a place of exile for those suffering political persecution. Yet most of the time Mexico gets negative headlines: the scourge of organised crime, drug wars, human trafficking, corruption and, above all, that of forced disappearance spreads fear and uncertainty. The fight against organised crime and the clashes between rival drug cartels constantly demand new sacrifices. A recent report from Amnesty International says that the whereabouts of some 27.000 people in Mexico are unknown. Women in particular are often victims of a violence which, according to the German Foreign Office, continues to rise. And the current work of the women directors from Mexico reflects these circumstances. In numerous films and documentaries, they address the problems of their country, concentrate on socio-political content and do not shrink from showing the violence and the oppression. Thus they explore their personal and cultural identities against the backdrop of urban and social realities. Director Tatiana Huezo, for example, used her short film Absences to look at the forced disappearance of people and its impact on women. In her new impressive documentary Tempest, also shown at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival, she relates of an innocent young mother who is arrested and handed over to a private prison under the control of the Gulf Cartel. Other films deal with: the crimes committed against Ciudad Juárez activists Go on Living; the struggle against historical amnesia and against immunity from punishment Time Suspended; the search by two siblings for their true identity Tracing Aleida; and, not least, the predicament of the homeless and the dilemma of a social worker in Mexico City in Through the Eyes. These themes and their emphases are crucial for the development of new narrative mechanisms and a hybrid film language as well as for a renewal of feminist discourse in Latin American cinema.

And finally, during a panel discussion (including film extracts), our guests from Mexico will be giving some insight into their work and the central theme of violence and forced disappearances. We are looking forward very much to stimulating discussions.

_Curators: Sonja Hofmann (i/c), Patricia Torres San Martín

The event is part of the Dual Year Mexico / Germany 2016/17. In cooperation with the Mexican Embassy, the Mexican Film Institute (IMCINE) and the Landeszentrale für politische Bildung NRW.

Absences

Tatiana Huezo

MX / SV
2015
Documentary
28’

Lulú is now just a shadow of her former self since the day four years ago when her husband and […]

Go on Living

Alejandra Sánchez

MX
2014
Feature Film
81’

In the gang wars of Ciudad Juárez, the mother of teenagers Jade and Caleb is seriously wounded. A journalist takes […]

Nobody’s Wife

Adela Sequeyro

MX
1937
Feature Film
82’

The young Ana María is forced to flee her brutal stepfather and leave home. She finds shelter with three artistic […]

DE
2014
Documentary
90’

The image of the Mariachi musician wearing tight trousers, a Sombrero and cowboy boots is one of the most famous […]

Tempest

Tatiana Huezo

MX
2016
Documentary
105’

A young mother and several other innocent victims are accused of human trafficking and thrown into a jail run by […]

Through the Eyes

Victoria Franco, Michel Franco

MX
2015
Feature Film
71’

Single mother Mónica works as a social worker in Mexico City. Her job is to help homeless and often drug-addicted […]

Time Suspended

Natalia Bruschtein

MX
2015
Documentary
64’

86-year-old Laura Bonaparte, the director’s grandmother, fought against the Argentine military junta from the late 1970s to the early 1980s. […]

Tracing Aleida

Christiane Burkhard

MX
2008
Documentary
88’

Five years ago, 31-year-old Aleida Gallangos discovered her true identity. Brought up by her adoptive family, at the age of […]

MX
2015
Feature Film
86’

»It was clear to me that this was about two people who have different fears about living, either from physical […]