October 27, 2020

The cold and sad story of a Mexican boxer in Finland | Culture

The cold and sad story of a Mexican boxer in Finland | Culture

How to criticize boxing harshly and, at the same time, understand it and even achieve that, in some way, be respected? The Mexican director Kyzza Terrazas (Nairobi, 1977) has succeeded. Your new movie Bayonet, released on Thursday in the Morelia International Film Festival and starring his compatriot Luis Gerardo Méndez (1982), revolves around a reflection that director and actor stress: "Boxing is an institutionalization of barbarism," says Terrazas, in an interview for this newspaper, and: "The ring is a place where killing is legal, "says Méndez. The controversy is served.

Miguel Bayonet Galindez is a boxer originally from Tijuana (Mexico), who after a tragic event, which is revealed only well into the film, emigrates to Finland, where he becomes a boxing trainer. "Immigration, understood as a living in the shade, an extract from your roots, is a subject that has always interested me," explains the director of We are tongue (2016). Terrazas considers that there is a "double discourse" in Mexico. "On the one hand, we tell Trump that we do not want a wall, but we ourselves on the southern border have one," he criticizes in reference to the caravan of about 7,000 Central Americans that is in Mexico towards the United States.

The director, follower of the cinema of Finnish Aki Kaurismäki, a film was launched in the Nordic country where the snow, the night and the alcohol become main components and to work with an actor with whom he had never collaborated before. "To tell the truth, I almost did not know the job of Luis Gerardo," the director confesses, "but the mere suggestion seemed interesting to me: the film itself tries to get away from the clichés." The also producer Méndez, that lately is breaking with an image created in its beginnings in comedies and series, does not disappoint and interprets the introvert Bayonet with greatness. "Luis Gerardo is dedicated, thoughtful and obsessive with his work", praises Terrazas.

For five months, the interpreter physically trained to become Mickey. He met and fought with professional boxers. "I, who had never received a blow, never, neither drunk nor in high school …" says Méndez. "Although I sometimes asked myself: 'What the fuck have I gotten myself into?', I felt like I was in a meditation process, I did not drink, I did not smoke …", he recalls at a press conference. If the actor and his character resemble each other in that, as for Bayoneta, boxing meant a way out of poverty, for him, the performance was a way out to meet.

For love of art – "boxing has an aesthetic visual character that fascinates me", explains Terrazas – and because "a film about boxing had not been made in Mexico, being a country with such tradition" were the main reasons of Terrazas to make this film, which will be able to be seen in Mexican movie theaters from November 9th. "It really is a country that exports boxers, we are bad at many things, but in boxing we are good, there is something cultural, rooted, that allows the Mexican to be good for the marathon … and for boxing," he says.

The section of feature films in which she is nominated Bayonet has six of 11 films directed by women, a number that sets a record at the Morelia International Film Festival. Terrazas celebrates the historic moment that is being lived. The filmmaker believes there is no going back: "We need men to start talking about our own privileges and recognize that the situation is unequal." "I'm a woman too, people think I'm a woman because of my name," he jokes. In some way, he feels identified.


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