Awareness no smiles
Lorenz Chan | Phoenix, AZ United States | 10/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Welcome to the apartment in one of the floors of the dangerous Tlatelolco's sky crappers in Mexico City. (The 1985 Mexico's earthquake hit this place very hard as well). As a visual and speechless guest, you will experience a dramatic historical tragedy that occurred to a typical/traditional Mexican family in a peaceful neighborhood that happened to be a witness of the student movement eager for expressions and ideas. In October 1968, in the midst of the Olympics, the world was observing a country that apparently was calm. The "burro" the "straw hat", and the "sheep-like following mentality" no longer was part of the young society. Some student leaders gathered in the plaza and made speeches that made the government nervous. The violent police were following orders. The orders: To shot and ask questions later. The excuse: Topics that a dictatorial government does not like to hear. Results: a lot of people dead.
The brute mentality thought that all the evidence possible was destroyed. Unfortunately, the images of silent loose shoes and bloody clothes were very strong and graphic witnesses of this sad day for a country of music and fiesta that still today continue unfolding and producing horror. To top things off, the written reports and collecting stories from valiant writers like Elena Poniatowska, allowed the world to receive the information and facts about these genocide. "La noche de Tlateloco". (1971) The citizens of a free world in general need to know where we come from and decide where are we going. This film is about awakening. It is the story of what happened to once a dormant so-called free expression society. The criminal minds are still unpunished. The claim continues. Read and learn. Watch and participate. This is a film to create awareness no smiles.
PROVIDES A SLIGHT GLIMPSE OF HOW IRAQI FAMILIES FEEL AT HOME
C. Scanlon | among us humans | 03/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Forty years ago Mexico City hosted the Olympic games, the year we shot Martin Luther King dead, the year Tommie Smith raised a fist of freedom upon the Olympic awards stand, as recorded in Olympic Medalists, Tommie Smith Wall Poster Print, 36x24.
Like China now in Tibet, the Mexican government prior to the games silenced any voice of freedom and protest which might stain the happy mask. This movie, filmed twenty years later in an underground studio yet in a moment of some political breathing space, presents the historical record of one massacre of students in a plaza as seen from the high rise window of a family apartment.
Actually we only hear and do not see the events on the street far below. Rather we experience their repercussions through the eyes of three generations of a family cramped into that small apartment.
We might not have given this film much regard except for the strong recommendation of our greatest living cineaste, Mr. Alex Cox, as recorded in the collection of interviews Alex Cox: Film Anarchist, in which Mr. Cox urges not only the philosophical and historical content of this important movie, but also indicates the innovative technique of filming this movie nearly entirely within the cramped quarters of a small family apartment built within a hidden warehouse in Mexico City twenty years after the events. Mr. Cox in fact includes some of these fine actors in his own films, such as Death and the Compass and Highway Patrolman.
As it stands we plan to see this film repeatedly, as its universal lesson strengthens and informs us in our own situation of international and imperialist repression, as we ourselves now heavily armed and armoured hold high calibre weapons to the veiled heads of little girls in bed sheets in their humble bedrooms.
This movie's characters as well are compelling, and we wish to know them better, from the grandfather to the mother to the daughter. The father, strong provider, is devastating as he, once so strong, stands helpless before the guns invading his well appointed if small home. In Mexico the authorities cannot ordinarily enter your home without your permission, and unlike in the USA, this right is ordinarily respected. Nevertheless the repression represented in this movie was all quickly hidden, and dumped like the truck loads of bodies into hidden graves, only to arise twenty years later in this powerful film.
The grandfather serves not only as the strong anchor within the family, but also anchoring the narrative flow. The mother appears so gentle and humble and yet displays unexpected, ever-life affirming, resources. I cannot here fully describe each characterization, and so I urge you to view this several times and come to know these characters as really good people trapped tightly inside an impossible totalitarian situation.
There are no extras on this disk as none are needed. There are no subtitles either, but we in the USA should already know Spanish by now anyway. I would love to hear a running commentary by the always informative and enthusiastic Mr. Alex Cox, whose own films, like this, are also most often profoundly moral, and innovative cinema, but that must await another lifetime and a more just world. Meanwhile we have this film and it is very fine, and ever more essential viewing.
For this is in fact a moral film, the moral being in part, in chorus with Archbishop Romero in his final Sunday sermon, a call for the end of violence, and militarism's murder of civilians, and the lethal repression of families, an immoral and unjustifiable repression we continue today in Iraq, and see in Myanmar (Burma) and elsewhere worldwide, and in Tibet as the Chinese government, our corporate allies, cleans house to prepare for its own happy Olympic games. Will the USA boycott these games in response to that lethal and unjust invasion as it once did the Soviet games in response to the invasion of Afghanistan?"
Samuel Valdes Montemayor | Monterrey, N.L., México | 03/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Una excelente película que te envuelve en la experiencia aterradora que seguramente tuvieron muchas familias mexicanas ese 2 de octubre. No es una película acerca del suceso histórico, sino la historia de una familia común y corriente que le tocó presenciar esa masacre."