The Roxie Theater, the historic movie theater in the Mission District of San Francisco, has announced the second edition of the “Hecho en Mexico,” series screening six stunning new documentaries that reveal the communities, legacies, dreams, realities, and unseen forces shaping contemporary life in Mexico. The series will have Q&As with some of the filmmakers.
An extravagant former beauty queen. An Aguascalientes rapper. A teacher in remote Chiapas. A bromance between Baja fishermen. An armed indigenous resistance. A family making one last attempt to cultivate their small plot of land. These were the nonfiction highlights of a very good year in Mexican cinema. Outside of a few film festivals, these films have never been shown in the United States.
The lineup includes Mamacita, in which director José Pablo Estrada promised his extravagant grandmother, Mamacita, to make a film about her life, without knowing that this would lead to a revelation of secrets, lies and deceptions affecting 5 generations of a high society Mexican family.
Nominated to an Ariel Award (the Mexican Oscars) and winner of the Best Mexican Documentary Award at the Festival Internacional de Cine de Guanajuato, Eva Villaseñor's M portrays her brother Miguel Ángel Villaseñor, famous rapper from Aguascalientes known as Tankeone. M is a film that takes us on a relentless cinematic voyage straight into the mind of a troubled young man by means of courageous, raw and intimate cinematography and editing.
Winner of the Best Mexican Feature Documentary at the Morelia Film Festival, Nuria Ibáñez’s A Wild Stream / Una corriente salvaje follow Chilo and Omar, who seem to be the only two men on earth. They live on a solitary beach and their constant activity is fishing to survive. Their friendship, surrounded by sensuality, becomes a kind of a love story. Through their conversations and their relationship, the film explores and portrays the human condition.
José Arteaga’s Recovering Paradise / Recuperando el paraíso tells the story of a group displaced by narco-violence organize themselves to confront, through an armed-uprising, the drug cartel that for several years now has been terrorizing their community. The film is a confidential gaze to the struggle of an indigenous community for surviving and defending their land in the midst of a violent context that threatens a large area of the Mexican territory.
In Titixe, when the grandfather of filmmaker Tania Hernández Velasco dies, the family and farm in rural Mexico are left without their patriarch and steward of the land. As a loving tribute, and in a steadfast attempt to maintain both the land and tradition, the family members band together to undertake a black bean harvest.
Winner of the Best Feature-Length Documentary Directed by a Woman Award, the Audience Award for Mexican Feature-Length Documentary and the Guerrero Press Award for Mexican Feature Length Documentary at Morelia International Film Festival, Melissa Elizondo’s The Sower / El sembrador tells the story of Bartolomé, a teacher in a multigrade school on the mountains of Chiapas in Mexico who knows well that pedagogy is not based on textbooks and cannot fit behind the four walls of a classroom. A true sower of knowledge unravels his philosophy and method and becomes a beacon of hope for the creation of a humanistic model of education based on curiosity and love for the outside world.