Mexican documentaries shown in Beijing to celebrate the country's revolution

Updated: 2014-11-24 04:46

By Zhang Yuchen in Beijing(China Daily Latin America)

  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

Mexican documentaries shown in Beijing to celebrate the country's revolution

Pablo Enrique Mendoza, a film maker and coordinator of Cultural Diffusion at the Mexico Research Center in National Autonomous University of Mexico,announced the opening at the launch event of the Mexican documentaries on Nov 20 at the Beijing Film Academy. Zhang Yuchen / China Daily

Four contemporary Mexican documentaries that celebrate the Mexican Revolution were screened at the Beijing Film Academy on Nov 20-21.

The documentaries were selected for a mini Mexican film festival co-hosted by the Mexican Research Center of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Beijing, and the Beijing Film Academy, one of the most internationally renowned film institutions in the country.

The first documentary, The History in the Eye, was screened on the first day. The film portrays events prior to the Mexican Revolution, which began on Nov 20, 1910, against long-time autocrat Porfirio Díaz, and lasted for the better part of a decade until around 1920.

Produced by UNAM in 2011, it shows the image of the effervescent social and ephemeral government of Francisco Ignacio Madero González with the presence of popular figures Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata and ends at the signing of the Constitution of 1917.

"The Mexican revolution is one of the pioneer communist or socialist revolutions in the modern history in the world, even several years earlier than the Russian revolution in 1917. It is very interesting because back then Mexico had no social revolution theory or remarkable revolution figure. The film and camera just came into the country and it recorded the whole process," said Pablo Enrique Mendoza, coordinator of Cultural Diffusion at the Mexico Research Center in UNAM.

The Mexican films were once popular in China during the 1970s or 1980s. Bilateral relations between the two countries later cooled. Mexico and China re-launched the exchange programs in 2012, said Mendez. Last November the Mexican film director Alfonso Cuarón visited Beijing to promote the film Gravity, which also led to the opening channel of cultural communications.

"The recent trend of cultural exchange is only the glimpse of China-Mexico cooperation and we have more plans either in the arts and culture exchange or in the academy," said Guillermo Pulido, director of BFSU-UNAM Mexico Research Center, the first official organization in China for cultural exchanges and studies on Mexico and all Spanish countries.

As China has begun to emerge as economic power and Mexico starts to learn from China, cultural activities have been seen in various forms. But as the cinema and the film theater in China – in Mexico as well – has focused on Hollywood films, it is important to bring the multinational elements into the field and make it more diverse by introducing Mexico film to the common audience as well as the film students.

All the events had been recorded through moving images, mainly by Alva brothers cinematographer at that time.

"All happenings in Mexico's history and society may resemble those in China as our two countries have many things in common," Pulido said. "Both of our people maintain their traditions, values and principles that could not be changed even in the time of globalization—the way we talk, eat and behave, even if under the impact of the US, it cannot be changed."

With two multiple international awards, all the films were shown in May for the first time to Chinese audiences at the Institution of Cervantes in Beijing. Last year, they were part of the documentary film festival in 798, the contemporary arts hub in the city and the student film festival in Beijing Foreign Studies University.

The other three films that were screened this time around are Hecho en Mexico (Made in Mexico), a documentary about some of contemporary Mexico's most iconic artists and performers, Los Herederos (The Heirs), and Mi Vida Dentro (My Life Inside).