The Mexican film The Last Cristeros / Los ultimos cristeros (pictured) by Matías Meyer won the Grand Prix award for best feature film at 17th edition of the Split Film Festival that took place September 15-22 at the Adriatic coast of Croatia.
The final days of a band of 1930s Christian rebels in the central Mexican wilderness are depicted with majestic stoicism in Matías Meyer’s elegant ode to independence. Although the project is the product of considerable research as well as an adaptation of Antonio Estrada’s acclaimed novel Rescoldo, The Last Christeros, the film is free of factoidal narrative, and has been de-dramatized to convey the experience of being a guerrilla fighter. Perhaps perversely to some, with the action here largely consisting of what happens between the battles, The Last Christeros encourages an artistic choice that emphasizes the deeper spiritual core of these guerrilla fighters (their journey through the mountainous desert recalling that of biblical figures like the Three Kings), with the existential quests that define Meyer’s two previous film (Wadley, The Cramp).
The Colombian film Chocó by Jhonny Hendrix Hinestroza was the only other Latin American film in competition at this Croatian film festival.