Best Mexican Cinema of 2017

Contributing Writer; Mexico


The year in which the Mexican Senate came up, out of nowhere, with the National Day of Mexican Cinema, a joke that - rather than an initiative of promotion and recognition - ended up being a vile movie marathon at Cineteca Nacional of overused contemporary films. Was it really necessary to screen yet again Güeros and The Amazing Catfish?

The year when it was presented the governmental program Ruta MX, which failed spectacularly to the promise of premiering 80 films supported with public money within 12 months.

The year that saw the new administration of the Mexican Academy starting on the wrong foot, as its president, director Ernesto Contreras, presented at a press conference a workplan full of intentions rather than real proposals; as well as announcing that he was going to register his own film, Sueño en otro idioma, in order to look for Ariel awards nominations.

Another year in which film festivals around the country emerged and died without any repercussion.

Another year of discussions on the subject of distribution and exhibition of national cinema. Does someone know the real motive of why The Untamed remained in distribution limbo for so long? Why El sueño del Mara’akame was screened with a huge watermark as if the CUEC didn’t want the audience to watch it? Which is going to be the strategy of the La 4ª Compañía directors after rejecting the rules of the distribution company that was going to support it?

Another year in which a sector of the press lazily blamed the Souzas, the Higaredas and the Derbez of all the misfortune of our cinematography.

In the midst of this panorama, 12 original and personal movies emerged and talked about the country from different angles and genres. Here are the remains of 2017.

10 - LOS TRUENOS DE SAN JUAN by Santiago Maza Stern

First-time documentary maker Santiago Maza Stern uses the five days of the “patronal” celebration in the town of San Juan de la Vega, Guanajuato, to show how traditions are transformed and adapted to the current times. A costumbrist portrait of a community but also an exciting western in which the men that protect the law are totally surpassed but nevertheless remain stoical, the film talks about religious syncretism and fervor until the crucial moment appears: the arrival of some sort of modern outlaws, who are involved in gunpowder traffic and who also want to celebrate… in their own way, turning the streets into a thunderous battlefield. One of those movies that are programmed at film festivales without any publicity and end up being authentic revelations.

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