A celebration of the impressive reemergence of Mexican cinema


Anthology Film Archives, Cinema Tropical and the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York are proud to announce the launching of a special film initiative dedicated to celebrating the vigorous revitalization of recent Mexican cinema and featuring some of its most exciting and celebrated emerging directors.
It’s been over ten years now since Alejandro González Iñárritu’s AMORES PERROS stormed the Critics’ Week at Cannes, winning its top prize and heralding an exciting new era for Mexican cinema. Since then Mexico has witnessed the birth of a vigorous and dynamic generation of young filmmakers who have been challenging many of the traditional and archetypical representations of the country.

Taking advantage of hybrid modes of production, and hand-in-hand with the complex political and social changes that the country has experienced in the past decade, the members of this generation have been able to establish solid film careers in a very short time span. Carlos Reygadas, Pedro González-Rubio, Fernando Eimbcke, Natalia Almada, Julián Hernández, and Nicolás Pereda, among many others, are members of this diverse and vigorous group of directors that have been making waves in the international film circuit.
This special film initiative showcasing works by some of the most interesting directors of recent Mexican cinema includes three components which features two theatrical releases:

2010, 62 minutes, video, b&w. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Pereda’s background in video installation is clearly revealed in this, his most formally radical work – a meticulously staged reading of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz’s classic poem, “Primer sueño”, with celebrated Mexican actress and director, Jesusa Rodríguez portraying the legendary writer reciting her spellbinding poetry in various strikingly theatrical poses. Shot in high-contrast black-and-white during the filming of an educational television program about Sor Juana, it reinvents the original film from the margins, transforming the struggle of Pereda and his crew to find the ideal shadow and camera angle into abstract and mesmerizing drama.
– July 14 at 8:45.
Eugenio Polgovsky’s THE INHERITORS
September 9 – 15

Eugenio Polgovsky
2008, 90 minutes, 35mm. In Spanish with English subtitles. Distributed by Icarus Films.
The most highly praised and awarded Mexican documentary in many years, THE INHERITORS immerses us in the daily lives of children who, with their families, survive only by their unrelenting labor. Polgovsky, director of the similarly acclaimed documentary TROPIC OF CANCER (2004), spent two years filming in many of the poorest rural areas of Mexico, where children barely bigger than the buckets they carry work long hours, in often hazardous conditions, picking tomatoes, peppers, or beans, for which they are paid by weight. Infants in baskets are left alone in the hot sun, or are breast-fed by mothers while they pick crops. The children Polgovsky films have inherited tools and techniques from their ancestors, but they have also inherited their day-to-day hardships and toil.
“The harsh, relentlessly arduous conditions experienced by children toiling in the Mexican countryside are observed with striking vision and cinematic poetry.” –Robert Koehler, VARIETY
–Friday, September 9 through Thursday, September 15 at 7:15 & 9:15 each night. Additional screenings on Saturday and Sunday at 5:15.
September 16 – 22
Rigoberto Pérezcano
2009, 95 minutes, 35mm.
“Cinema’s fascination with illegal border crossings between Mexico and the U.S. gets a totally fresh take in this delicately poised film. Focused on how life is lived precariously between desperate attempts to cross over, the story follows Oaxaca-born Andrés as he bides his time in Tijuana. He finds a little work at a convenience store and gets friendly with the two women who run it. As the relationships deepen and their individual stories emerge, the emotional costs of the ties that bind are explored with great sensitivity. The sincerity of the minimal story line is balanced by a liberating humor and breathtakingly beautiful images that give life and dignity to Andrés and his fellow travelers.” –NEW DIRECTORS/NEW FILMS
–Friday, September 16 at 7:00 and Sunday, September 18 at 9:15.
Matías Meyer
2009, 90 minutes, 35mm.
Julien, a young French comedian, disembarks in Chacahua, a fishing community on Mexico’s pacific coast. His spiritual search, framed by stunning natural scenery, barely conceals his social failure. He is adrift in a world that is completely foreign to him. Then he meets Pablo, a local fisherman who will guide him towards spiritual healing. Relating to this patient, simple man helps Julien come to terms with himself. Based on a short story by celebrated Chinese writer Gao Xingjian, Meyer’s second feature film is a contemplative meditation on anxiety and solitude.
–Friday, September 16 at 9:00 and Monday, September 19 at 7:00.
Yulene Olaizola
2009, 83 minutes, 35mm.
“Dipping a toe into (early) Errol Morris docu waters, Yulene Olaizola sustains a strange, unsettling mood.” –VARIETY
Yulene Olaizola’s debut film is a thought-provoking portrait of two lonely and strangely intertwined friends. For years, Olaizola’s grandmother Rosa told stories of a handsome young lodger. Living under (and on top of) her roof in the 1980s, he painted strange pictures on the walls and played an important role in Rosa’s emotional life. But this picture of a pleasant, harmless and creative young man slowly gives way to a shocking end.
–Saturday, September 17 at 2:00 and Monday, September 19 at 9:00.
Jonás Cuarón
2007, 78 minutes, 35mm.
“The serious artistic drive to meld fine photography with cinema is married to a charming tale of young almostlove in Jonás Cuarón’s sweet and memorable debut. The project represents a year’s worth of photos Cuarón took of spontaneous events and day-to-day activities. The fictional narrative about 14-year-old Diego and visiting American college girl Molly gradually emerged out of organizing the photos into sequences, with all but one of the original subjects recording the soundtrack’s voiceover dialogue. … [A] thoughtful, tender but quite hip look at two young people with too much separating them for a match to ever be possible.” –Robert Koehler, VARIETY
–Saturday, September 17 at 4:00 and Thursday, September 22 at 6:45.
Rubén Imaz Castro
2006, 139 minutes, 35mm.
The debut feature from writer-director Castro is an understated and sensitive drama about a family that gathers at their mother’s home on the anniversary of her death. They are overwhelmed with grief and a shared sentiment of haunting absence. At the center of it all is Uncle Manuel, a remarkable man who holds the clan together by doing all he can to help, which includes raising his brother’s children and assisting his trade unionist brother-in-law. Amid lost dreams, the family struggles to survive with one another, but most importantly, with themselves.
–Saturday, September 17 at 6:00 and Wednesday, September 21 at 8:30.
Enrique Rivero
2008, 86 minutes, 35mm.
Beto is the custodian of a house in Mexico City, left empty for several years, in which he used to work as a domestic helper. The solitude of the last ten years coupled with the monotony and routine of his job have led him to develop a pathological fear of the world outside, to the point of limiting his contacts to only two people: the owner of the house, for whom he has a feeling of deep gratitude and respect that is translated into obedience; and Lupe, a friend, a confidante, and a lover. News that the house is to go on sale causes a dilemma for Beto, who doesn’t know whether he should dare to set forth and live or seek a way of remaining in his confinement.
–Saturday, September 17 at 9:00 and Wednesday, September 21 at 6:30.
Andrés León Becker & Javier Solar
2006, 90 minutes, 35mm.
Alicia, a seven-year-old girl, lives in an apartment with her mother. When the mother, after a sentimental setback, goes into a depression that makes her sleep for days on end, Alicia and her friend Lucía decide that an old man who lives next door is to blame; he has a gruesome aspect and is surely a vampire trying to possess her mother. So, Alicia decides to go into the neighbor’s apartment to put an end to the curse. Hailed by VARIETY as an “affecting feature debut”, this film by co-writer/director team Becker and Solar features a powerful performance by Elizabeth Cervantes in the role of the afflicted single mother.
–Sunday, September 18 at 1:30 and Tuesday, September 20 at 9:00.
Gerardo Naranjo
2007, 92 minutes, video.
Two interlaced stories unfold over the course of the same long, hot day in the once lush and now decadent resort town of Acapulco. The first involves the beautiful and cool Fernanda, who is forced to deal with the sudden emergence of the ex-lover, Chino. Her boyfriend, Gonzalo, must now compete with the intense sexual tension Fernanda and Chino share. The second story concerns Jamie, an office worker with hidden indiscretions, attempting suicide in a beach-front hotel until a precocious and equally dishonest teenage girl disrupts the plan. They will all converge in a stark and harrowing portrayal of moral ambiguity, in the debut feature by filmmaker Gerardo Naranjo, director of the recent Cannes favorite MISS BALA.
–Sunday, September 18 at 3:30 and Tuesday, September 20 at 7:00.
Julián Hernández
2008, 191 minutes, 35mm.
“One of the most consistent, revelatory cinematic visions anywhere in the world today.” –Michael Koresky, REVERSE SHOT
This is the third and final installment of a trilogy by Hernández, who has been described by Armond White as “Mexico’s finest, yet critically neglected, auteur.” An epic gay romance, the film is a passionate exploration of love, sex, and destiny that tells the story of Kieri and Ryo, two young men whose love is set to a test in a mythical struggle in which loss and death are but inevitable phases in the journey towards happiness. Winner of the Teddy Award for Best Feature at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival, Hernández’s film is a ravishing meditation on the power of desire.
–Sunday, September 18 at 5:30 and Thursday, September 22 at 8:30.
All screenings at:
Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue at 2nd St. New York, NY. (212) 505-5181 / www.anthologyfilmarchives.org
All films in this series are in Spanish with English subtitles.
Subway: F to 2nd Ave; 6 to Bleecker.
Tickets: $9 general; $8 Essential Cinema (free for members); $7 for students, seniors, & children (12 & under); $6 AFA members.


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