Cinema Tropical presents the U.S. Theatrical premiere of Los últimos cristeros / The Last Christeros (pictured) by Matías Meyer, a highly unusual historical film that takes a meditative, nearly non-narrative approach to portraying the experiences of those who continued to resist the Mexican government’s anti-Christian (especially anti-Roman Catholic) persecution, even following the official end of the Cristero War in 1929. The film opens on Friday, August 30 for a one-week exclusive engagement at Anthology Film Archives in New York City.
Devoted to the cause, despite their increasing desperation and fatigue, and their yearning to rejoin their families, this band of rebels – whose genuine religious faith and spiritual innocence is apparent despite their paradoxical embrace of armed struggle – trudges exhaustedly through the hills and mountains of rural Mexico, experiencing moments of grace and beauty amid the violence and suffering. Eschewing a narrative chronicle of the War’s events, Meyer instead puts us in his weary fighters’ shoes, and emphasizes the quiet, strangely tranquil moments between battles.
Winner of the Cinema Tropical Award for Best Director, this third feature by Meyer (following Wadley and El calambre / The Cramp) decisively establishes him as one of the most gifted of young Mexican filmmakers, and represents a striking combination of minimalist cinema and historical depiction. Based on Antonio Estrada’s acclaimed novel Rescoldo, The Last Christeros was nominated for eight Ariel Awards, Mexico’s national film prize, including Best Film, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.
The film is presented in anticipated of GENMEX PART II, a series featuring some of the most inventive and cutting-edge filmmakers working in Mexico today, running September 6-12 and presented by Anthology Film Archives, Cinema Tropical, and the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York.
Watch the trailer: