Journalists are no longer welcome in Tlaxiaco. Dozens of reporters go on pilgrimage for weeks to this town in Oaxaca in search of the origins of Yalitza Aparicio, the indigenous rural teacher who has become a phenomenon because of her work in Rome and the Oscar nomination for best leading actress. A swarm of interviewers chased the actress' father until he almost collided with his car. The grandmother of Aparicio, of the triqui ethnic group and who does not speak Spanish, was cornered to get an interview. A guy passed himself off as a young boyfriend of the actress to collect 500 pesos (25 euros) for invented testimonies. The press changed the life of this humble region in southern Mexico.
The trough of this fairy tale of the 15 minutes of fame has dried up. A few weeks ago, the director Alfonso Cuaron he energetically demanded that the journalists leave Yalitza's mother and her three brothers in peace. The row, in one of the dozens of red carpets through which the production has passed, was followed by a brief press release. "We ask you very carefully to respect the privacy of our family during this exciting time," requested the Aparicio Martínez.
Tlaxiaco has closed the doors to the chroniclers of that cinematic miracle that catapulted a 25-year-old girl, daughter of an indigenous Triqui and an absent father, to world fame and recognition that has only been caressed by three Mexicans: Salma Hayek (Frida, 2003), Adriana Barraza (Babel, 2007) and Katy Jurado (Broken spear, 1955), the last two in the category of best supporting actress. Dozens of magazines, from lighthouses to fashion Vogue Y Vanity Fair until industry publications like The Hollywood Reporter Y The Wrap have told how Aparicio went from being a student at a normal school in Putla (Oaxaca) to the desire of the director of casting Luis Rosales.
The Mexican weekly Process describes the rhythm that Aparicio lived for two and a half years. I was studying to be a preschool teacher from eight in the morning until four in the afternoon, when I left school to work a couple of hours as a waitress in a restaurant. For two hours he served tables in exchange for food. From six in the afternoon I helped in the reception of a hotel. A working day of at least 12 hours in which barely earned less than five euros a day.
The phenomenon of Yalitza Aparicio has left a deep imprint in Mexico. A few days ago, a video of Sergio Goyri, an actor in soap operas and B movies, was leaked to the networks. Not knowing what was being recorded, Goyri was discussing in a restaurant the participation of Aparicio in the drama of Cuarón, who will seek his third Oscar this Sunday. "Let them nominate a naughty Indian girl who says 'yes, ma'am', 'no, ma'am', and put her on the list of best Oscar actress!" He said surprised to the other guests, also actors and producers . This type of comments has found echoes in social networks, where the achievements of Aparicio have been reduced. The racist insult of Goyri, however, generated thousands of reactions that forced the actor to publicly apologize.
Cuarón considered the episode a sample of the entrenched classism and racism that his film tries to fight in Mexico today. "We must create a discussion of these attitudes, in the legislative, business and media, which have created very dangerous stereotypes. We must discuss together, in our communities and in our families, "the director said this week.
Porfirio Muñoz Ledo, the president of the Chamber of Deputies, announced on Wednesday that Cuarón and Aparicio will be honored at the Congress whether or not they bring an Oscar back from the Hollywood gala. The veteran politician talked about cinema and dared to value what Rome He has made 70 years after the golden age of Mexican cinema. María Candelaria, awarded in Cannes in 1946, became one of the first national successes abroad thanks to its protagonist, Dolores del Río, originally from a family of high society of Durango and who played a native of Xochimilco. "I could not have done Yalitza 50 years ago. We had to disguise the mestizos and the indigenous creoles! Now, for us to recognize that Yalitza is more beautiful than Dolores del Río It's a while away, "joked Muñoz Ledo. The commentary shows that Mexico has begun to exude some of its deepest ghosts. And all thanks to a film in black and white and an actress who had never before been in front of a movie camera.