Hola Mexico Film Festival has added a new section, The Other Mexico/El Otro México, highlighting experiences of Mexicans rarely portrayed on screen. The 2019 Hola Mexico Film Festival takes place May 31 to June 8, 2019 in Los Angeles
For its inaugural year, the films included in the section focus on the discrimination and economic inequality affecting indigenous people, the Afro-Mexican population, and the country’s working class. The films are BLACK MEXICANS (LA NEGRADA) directed by Jorge Pérez Solano, THE CHAMBERMAID (LA CAMARISTA) directed by Lila Avilés, GUIE’DANI’S NAVEL (EL OMBLIGO DE GUIE’DANI) directed by Xavi Sala, and MIST OF GUILT (NIEBLA DE CULPA) directed by Francisco Laresgoiti and starring Academy AwardÒ nominee Mariana de Tavira.
“Fortunately, in recent years the number of films from emerging and provocative directors that center on the underrepresented and historically marginalized groups in Mexican society has increased,” said Samuel Douek, festival director, “It was paramount for us to be able to provide not only a platform for the films but also to encourage audiences to become acquainted with these insightful and compelling stories that for so long have been neglected.”
THE OTHER MEXICO
BLACK MEXICANS (LA NEGRADA)
Shot entirely in small towns throughout Oaxaca’s gorgeous Costa Chica, this is the first Mexican fiction film to portray the country’s long-neglected black population. Director Jorge Pérez Solano hired local non-professional actors to tell the story of two women, Juana and Magdalena, who are romantically involved with the same man, Neri. Through its central love triangle, the sun-lit movie addresses the alienation and discrimination black Mexicans face within their own homeland. DIR Jorge Pérez Solano. SCR Jorge Pérez Solano
THE CHAMBERMAID (LA CAMARISTA)
Lila Avilés’ superbly acted directorial debut is an intimate look at the life of a housekeeper in a lavish Mexico City hotel. Despite her labor-intensive job, Eve (Gabriela Cartol), the film’s quiet heroine, is eager to pursue her ambitions for a better life. Even if constantly combating everyday perils, she decides to enroll in an adult education program and forms bonds with other women in her environment, both working class and those from more affluent circles. “The Chambermaid” is an introspective journey alongside a woman stronger than her circumstances. DIR Lila Avilés. SCR Lila Avilés, Juan Carlos Marquéz. CAST Gabriela Cartol, Teresa Sánchez.
GUIE’DANI’S NAVEL (EL OMBLIGO DE GUIE’DANI)
Featuring a star-making performance by Sótera Cruz, a young actress who plays the title character, this unique coming-of-age narrative explores the racism encountered by indigenous people in Mexico. Guie’dani (Cruz) is a Zapotec teenager who moves to Mexico City with her mother to work as a housekeeper for an upper middle-class family. There, their language is mocked, and psychological subjugation is inflicted. Yet, Guie’dani rejects the life of servitude and seeks her own identity through a friendship with another rebellious teen. DIR Xavi Sala. SCR Xavi Sala. CAST Sótera Cruz, Érika López, Majo Alfaroh, Yuriria del Valle, Juan Ríos, Valentina Buzzurro, Jerónimo Kesselman, Mónica del Carmen.
MIST OF GUILT (NIEBLA DE CULPA)
Starring Academy Award nominated actress Marina de Tavira (“Roma”), Francisco Laresgoiti’s searing feature comments on the abuse, lack of opportunities, and injustices afflicting people from disadvantaged backgrounds in Mexico, and the entitlement of the ruling class. Yolanda (Alma Moreno), an illiterate woman from a rural town in Michoacán, accepts a job in the capital taking care of a wealthy family’s infant child. Eventually, her lack of basic skills results in an unexpected tragedy. Visually, the poetic drama plays with black-and-white and color cinematography creating a contrast between chaos and tranquility. DIR Francisco Laresgoiti. SCR Francisco Laresgoiti. CAST Mariana de Tavira, Marco Treviño, Rafael Sánchez Navarro, Rolf Petersen, Myriam Bravo, Ramon Alvarez, Alma Moreno.