José Manuel Cravioto's is not just another movie about the 1968 student movement in Mexico. In the style of Valse avec Bachir, by Ari Folman, Y Waking Life, by Richard Linklater, the Mexican director has presented this Friday at the Morelia Film Festival Olympia, a tape recorded in 2017 and redrawn – following an animation technique called rotoscopy– by the students of the Faculty of Arts and Design of the Autonomous National University of Mexico during eight months of work. An entire experiment in Mexican cinema on a subject often treated, but also helped by three characters, Raquel, Rodolfo and Hernán, devised and interpreted with great doses of humanity, becomes unique.
Cravioto (Mexico City, 1981) used to think often what kind of film would be made for the 50th anniversary of the student movement of 68: "Who will do it, how will it be, hopefully they do it well, I hope they talk about this …", recalls the filmmaker, "until suddenly I said to myself: 'You are a director, you are interested in the topic: do it yourself and Stop thinking that someone else will. " One of the reasons why you used the animation to Olympia, nominated for best fiction feature film at the Morelia contest, was because this technique allowed her to set aside the sets, the recreation of the time became simpler. In addition, the artist sought to give continuity to the entire film, which contains between 10 and 15 minutes of the well-known documentary The Scream (1968), about the events that occurred in those months. In this way, it avoided that there were cuts between fiction and documentary.
It all started, he remembers, when he was a child, while he was flipping through the book The night of Tlatelolco, then he suddenly found himself with the photograph of a boy of his dead age. That was going to mark a before and after. Through the testimonies of relatives and close friends, the student movement of '68 and the massacre of Tlatelolco, which left several hundred dead on October 2 of that same year, were historical moments that were always present in his life.
This personal experience coupled with inspiring stories such as that of the Uruguayan poet Alcira Soust, turned into a legend for allegedly remaining hidden for weeks in the UNAM When it was occupied by the military in September of 68, they give an overview of what that era was. About Soust, some testimonies of the time told that at that time he issued messages of resistance through the loudspeakers of the university campus. The character of Raquel (Nicolasa Ortiz Monasterio, nominated for a revelation actress by the Mexican Academy this year) recreates this figure, while Rodolfo (Luis Curiel) and Hernán (Daniel Mandoki) are amateur photography students who immortalize the repression suffered.
Cravioto's aspiration is that Olympia get to movie theaters and international festivals and "end up on a commercial platform," perhaps Netflix, for what it suggests. "Let them see it all over the world and know something about the history of Mexico, not only the part of the Mexican conquest and folklore, but also historical events like this," the director claims.