A new Mexican canon: filmmakers rebalance their country’s narrative | Features

These three films often refrain from showing those who pull the trigger and initiate violence, focusing more on the victims than the stereotypical Mexican criminals of American cinema. The violence here is not exploitation, but it is often brief and horrific.

“Tigers are not afraid” Issa López’s urban fable, covered in light horror flourishes, begins with the shock of a scene as Mexican children dive onto the classroom floor when gunshots erupt outside, including some pierce windows and walls. Later, as young protagonist Estrella (Paola Lara) returns home, she observes a body covered in bloody tarp as children play in limbo with yellow safety tape ropes nearby. None of this, we feel, is abnormal for them, and in this realization López urges us to consider how the youngest of Mexico are coming of age during a dark chapter in their history. country; “Tigers Are Not Afraid” was created at the end of 2017, the first of three consecutive years in which Mexico has set new records for homicide rates, according to congressional research. For Estrella, the violence is so prevalent that tripping over the corpse hardly makes her flinch.

Violence is a pervasive threat in Fernando Frías “I am no longer here” as well – he can explode at any time, and his characters know that. In the same way that the orphan children of “Tigers Are Not Afraid” initially stand in a makeshift house on a rooftop, this film’s teenage counter-culture gang Terkos has a tendency to hang out high in the concrete ribs. half-built Monterrey skyscrapers, out of sight of the threat of violence below that constantly bites the edges of the film’s colorful paintings. When the stoic leader of the Terkos, Ulises (Daniel Garcia), later falls into a scene of climactic violence, it’s blazingly fast. American films would linger on the awe-inspiring spectacle of the gunfire, but here it’s a brief burst of bullets that ends as soon as you realize what’s going on. The shooters are like specters floating through history; “I’m not here anymore” gives them no sense of characterization or depth as he remains focused on Ulises, whose circumstantial presence during the bloody murder will force him to flee to the United States.

At Valadez “Functional identification”, there is hardly any gunfire or explicit violence of any kind until its haunting final minutes. Instead, we adapt to the thoughtful gazes of a thousand yards from Magdalena (Mercedes Hernández) as she searches for her missing son. In this research, Valadez creates the disturbing sensation that Magdalena and the viewer are constantly following in the footsteps of violence; the road it takes is often deserted, and it is here that “Identifying Features” and “Tigers Are Not Afraid” share the characteristic of taking place in settings so austere and marked that they feel dystopian by nature. (“I’m not here anymore” begins in a softer place, but Monterrey will take on an odd void at the end of the film.) Magdalena is an older protagonist than Estrella or Ulises, though her age is less a sign of incapacity. and more a literalization of the Mexican past trying to make sense of its horrible present – of a country trying to recover from its own worst trends.

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