April 15, 2021

Diego Luna: "The public has a fierce appetite for themes that challenge him" | Culture

Diego Luna: "The public has a fierce appetite for themes that challenge him" | Culture

Documentary films have the power to place issues that are often forgotten before the public focus. Although it can be considered a genre of niche, the actor Diego Luna (Toluca, 1979), who recently starred Narcos Mexico, says that "the public has a fierce appetite for issues that challenge him." This has been shown, in his opinion, Ambulante, the documentary festival that celebrates 14 years in the arena and travels through the Mexican States to show a selection of national and foreign works. "The numbers [de muertos, desaparecidos…] we all know how to make things slide, but if a specific story is told, reactions take place; it is the strength of documentary film, "says Luna.

In addition to the tour to project the more than 100 documentaries chosen this year, which starts on February 21 and will tour eight states, Ambulante, not only tries to get the movies out to the streets, but, as one of its initiatives, it also takes them to the Senate of Mexico. Last year it was screened To the teeth, directed by Alberto Arnaut, who narrates the story of how the Mexican Army executed two students. "We look for the incidence of the documentary in our reality. [Tras la proyección] the authorities committed to a public apology to clear the names of Jorge and Javier [tachados de sicarios]", Says the director and producer Luna. The festival was founded in 2005 by Gael García Bernal, Elena Fortes and Luna, among others. "DFrom the origin, we want the cinema to come out to regain control of our society, "says the actor.

This Tuesday is projected in the Mexican Senate 500 years, by the New York filmmaker Pamela Yate, who talks about the recent political achievements in which the indigenous community of Guatemala participated, like the trial for genocide of the ex-dictator Efraín Río Montt. "It is a tribute to the indigenous peoples of Latin America. There are 20 million people totally ignored and kept in exploitation systems, "says the activist and protagonist of the documentary, Irma Alicia Velásquez Nimatuj, during the press conference to present Ambulante on Tuesday in Mexico City.

Scene from 'Cassandro, the exotic'.
Scene from 'Cassandro, the exotic'.

In addition to 500 years, this year the festival brings Cassandro, the Exotic, a documentary about the fighter queer Saúl Armendáriz, who broke stereotypes in Mexican wrestling. Shot by the French Marie Losier between El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, the film promises to break all borders. The silence of the others, winner of the Goya 2019 for the best documentary, can also be seen in this traveling event. Directed by Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar and financed by Pedro Almodóvar's production company, he remembers the thousands of victims of Franco's crimes who are still seeking justice.

An entry for 'Roma'

Once again the work of Alfonso Cuarón, which has 10 Oscar nominations, took much of the role, this time in the presentation of Ambulante. When asked about the success of Rome, Diego Luna said: "Celebration Rome because, as a public, it made me question myself, because it makes me feel proud of the whole team and I am surprised by the scope it has had. Now a lot of people are trying to pronounce those Mexican names, "he ended jokingly.

The screening of one of the best documentary nominees at this year's Oscars, Free Solo, generates great expectation. In it, the directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin portray the deed of Alex Honnold who was the first to achieve climbing, without any help, the rock wall El Capitán, located in the Yosemite National Park (California, USA) . On the other hand, When I close my eyes, of Sergio Blanco Martín and Michelle Ibaven, returns to land the spectator in a deep Mexico. The documentary makers wanted to give voice to two testimonies: Adela's and Marcelino's. Both were imprisoned for homicides they did not commit. In their own language, Mazatec and Mixtec respectively, they denounce torture, forced confessions and the signing of documents that they did not understand.

In line with the transformation of cinema in the world, the presence of female filmmakers (63) outnumbers men (53) in this edition, according to the general director of the event, Paulina Suárez. The works can be seen in Veracruz (from February 21 to 28), in Querétaro (from February 28 to March 7), in Puebla (from March 7 to 14), in Coahuila (from March 14 to 21) , in Jalisco (from March 28 to April 4), in Chihuahua (from April 4 to 11), in Oaxaca (from April 11 to 18) and, as the festival closes, in Mexico City (from April 30 to April to May 16).


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