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By Tonatiuh (Fri Oct 15, 2010 at 12:32:27 PM EST) (all tags)
Yesterday was my first movie of the London Film Festival marathon:
  • Revolucion (the civil war)
  • Revolucion (the film)


- Revolucion (the civil war)
This year Mexico celebrates 200 years of independence but also 100 years of our Revolution.

The Mexican Revolution was a civil war with a mismatch of aspirations from the very disparate strata of Mexican society, and this was expressed in slogans.

"Sufragio efectivo, no reeleccion" (effective vote, no re-election) was what the middle and upper liberal classes demanded after 30 years of iron fist dictatorship that strangled aspirations of educated but badly connected people, the caricature of this sees the then Mexican dictator Porfirio Diaz surrounded by old yes men wishing that the President would declare himself king or emperor while educated younger people languish without access to real political power.

"Tierra y libertad" (land and freedom), "La tierra es de quien la trabaja" (land is for whom makes it produce) were slogans of Emiliano Zapata, the farmer and labourer that wanted only to ensure that the unfair control of big land owners was curbed, which in many cases had quasi feudal rights over their labourers.

Those demands added to unrest in all kind of industries due to Marxist ideas, until finally a losing candidate in the decidedly rigged elections, decided to stand up to the dictator.

That person was Franciso I. Madero, naive, idealist and doomed to fall under the pressure of the dark forces that have always accompanied Mexican history.

The ideals of the Mexican Revolution were of social progress, some of those goals were achieved, some others have never been addressed (specially for the Native people in the country).

Suffice to say that the Revolution is a major landmark and most Mexicans are genuinely proud that we had it in us to say no to oppression and injustice (even if after that we began to kill each other....).

- Revolucion (the film)

So yesterday I watched this Mexican film, part of the LFF, which was comissioned by the Mexican government to reflect about this important period in our history.

The format is interesting, 10 directors were asked to make a short film, they had free reign, the only constraint was that it had to be in modern times.

There were several well known names, Gael Garcia Bernal directed a short in which a boy is confronted by situations that challenge his core beliefs (religion and patriotism).

Carlos Raygadas, the king of slow world cinema (check his movies, they are infuriatingly slow at times but deeply human) just brought together a bunch of people to his country house from all ways of life, from rich kids and fa miles, a transvestite, poor ranchers and beggars and threw a party for them, giving 8 cameras to renowned Mexican camera men and then edited the result. Very telling what happens when all the social conventions go out of the window, lubricated with a bit of tequila and beer.

Another salient short was the one in which a woman, who is paid nowadays with coupons that can be used only in the supermarket where she works, finally stands up for her (and everybody's rights) in an unequal legal battle (in pre-revolutionary Mexico landlords and all kind of employers used to pay on a similar manner to their workers, with the added insult of inflating prices in the shops that they controlled, so it was terribly poignant to be reminded that this practice has not entirely gone away).

Another of the shorts shows a busy street in Los Angeles, in the occupied Mexican territory of California as my grand dad used to say, where nothing remarkable is happening, when all of the sudden a ghostly group of Revolutionary soldiers walk along the street, some are cavalry, some other infantry (men and  the famous "soldaderas" or female soldiers) and they carry an injured man and a prisoner. All this is shot in very slow motion, which gives the soldiers an air of dignity like reminding any Mexican watching the moral stature of many of the people that fought on those wars.

Although the shorts were uneven (can somebody tell to young filmmakers that tripods exist for a reason?) they were all well intentioned and in most cases well executed.

Very watchable, but it may be decidedly only for Mexican eyes, since many cultural clues will pass over the head of other audiences.

@@@ out of 5

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Even here in Washington, I see by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #1 Fri Oct 15, 2010 at 04:06:55 PM EST
a lot of Reconquista graffiti and propaganda stickers, but your grand-dad and other Mexican nationalists must come to grips that America will never relinquish sovereignty over any state in the southwest. Not even if a popular vote demands it. We will take up arms to prevent it from happening.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

huh by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri Oct 15, 2010 at 11:40:58 PM EST
Because here in Alta California, I have never seen any "Reconquista" graffiti.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
You should try going outside. -nt by chuckles (2.00 / 0) #3 Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 12:55:28 AM EST


"The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin [...] would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities"
[ Parent ]
Lived in San Diego for 16 years by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #4 Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 01:23:09 AM EST
And spent a lot of time outside.
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I guess you don't ride the bus much by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #5 Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 03:17:36 AM EST
or use public restrooms too often in bad neighborhoods. I'm glad you're wealthy enough to be insulated from the class war.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
hah by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #7 Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 12:03:03 PM EST
I walk by a homeless shelter every day.
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I wouldn't expect to see it there. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #8 Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 12:42:34 PM EST
Around here, Hispanic folks seem pretty good at caring for their own. I don't see many Hispanic Urban Campers downtown at night.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
clearly by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #10 Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 01:18:42 PM EST
Not the sort we want in our society!
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"In" is the operative word. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #11 Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 02:48:25 PM EST
Learn some English, ditch the bad attitudes and blend in with the rest of us. No enclaves.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Enclaves? by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #12 Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 03:58:56 PM EST
Just because you're too frightened of the dark people to visit the mission doesn't mean everyone is.
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Around here... by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #13 Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 05:23:43 PM EST
the enclaves are apartment complexes, so I really don't have cause to visit. No barrios here yet.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
In other words by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #14 Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 05:25:14 PM EST
You won't rent where the scary brown people are.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
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I live in a decent neighborhood. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #15 Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 05:30:09 PM EST
I got tired of finding my cars broken into.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Huh by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #17 Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 06:40:37 PM EST
Because the only place I ever had my car broken into was the neighborhood next to the college.
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Hollywood Upstairs Carprowling College by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #19 Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 08:41:50 PM EST
Summa cum Felon

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Same thing here in Texas by theboz (2.00 / 0) #16 Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 05:36:17 PM EST
I do go into "bad" areas too, and I've never seen anything supporting the whole white supremacist reconquista myth.  It's either that our fellow hussites don't understand what they are seeing, or its something that someone is doing to yank the chains of people.
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That's what I always say about you, boz, you have a good memory for random facts about pussy. -- joh3n
[ Parent ]
My presumption by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #18 Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 06:42:27 PM EST
That if Chuckles or ammonical saw "For a good time, call Carleta" in Portuguese, they'd think it was reconquista graffiti.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
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I know Portagee when I see it. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #21 Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 09:08:26 PM EST
My eyes work and I can use a dictionary. Go ahead and wish it away, if it helps you sleep at night.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
pstpixplz by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #22 Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 11:51:51 PM EST
So we can laugh at your dictionary skills.
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I could. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #23 Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 12:20:45 AM EST
But reading it really gets on my tits, so I'll pass. Better for my blood pressure.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
In defense of ammonical by theboz (2.00 / 0) #26 Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 07:23:12 PM EST
I think he is competent enough to have a vague idea of what he's talking about, but I am presuming he's just trying to stir stuff up, or if not, his definition of "reconquista graffiti" may differ from ours and be as broad as any graffiti in Spanish.
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That's what I always say about you, boz, you have a good memory for random facts about pussy. -- joh3n
[ Parent ]
Oh probably by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #27 Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 01:13:07 AM EST
But he's clearly making it up as it'd be pretty easy to post pix.

I'm just amused because I live in an area that is 20% Hispanic, yet I'd be hard pressed to find a "barrio" other than, perhaps, the Mission, and the Mission is currently overrun by Hipsters.

(We won't even talk about how San Jose, the large city most associated with high tech, is also a city that is minority white.)
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Real-life trolling? by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #20 Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 09:05:37 PM EST
Effect is the same in the end.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Yeah sure. by Tonatiuh (2.00 / 0) #6 Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 05:33:39 AM EST
We used to say the same, and see what happened.

[ Parent ]
Paramilitary drug cartels subverted your democracy by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #9 Sat Oct 16, 2010 at 12:59:40 PM EST
!?

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
No, no, no. by Tonatiuh (2.00 / 0) #24 Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 07:54:23 PM EST
Mexicans back then were very cocky about defeating the US in a war. As cocky as you are in the comment above.

We lost the war, and we lost half the country.

The US's time to dismember will come, it will not be  soon, but it will come, perhaps not in our lifetimes, but not in 1000 years neither (I am sure that any Soviets would have laughed at the suggestion of the USSR, an authentic superpower, having dissapeared by the end of the 20th century, and I am sure they would have sworn to go to war to defend the motherland, what you fail to appreciate is that when history is ready for something to happen it simply will happen, so people will have 2 choices, the civilized one or the stupid one to accept the new state of affairs),

The internal contradictions in the US are too big for it too survive forever on its current form (empires fall, immigration presure, etc,etc.etc), so don't take it so much to heart, it is just history, we are just humans, we like our history in flux.

[ Parent ]
France, Spain, England... by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #25 Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 09:49:20 PM EST
They were overtaken by greater force and that's the natural order of things. The Sovs rotted from the inside and that's exactly how we're going to expire. My grandchildren will live in a vastly different world.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Oh, it's already happening by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #28 Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 01:15:18 AM EST
The surest sign of the US's demise is the very well known fact that our high tech industry is driven by immigrants.  This country can't generate the people needed for high tech.  Once India and China outsourcing and start creating first run industries, we're the new Spain.
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Oh, I agree. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #29 Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 02:27:39 AM EST
Something I've noticed is that most of my cohort is comfortable with math and science. My youngest sister was born in '74 and her peers are fucking know-nothing idiots.

We went to the same schools and the only concrete difference I can recall is that her group was taught to read with phonics and mine was not. I hate to sound like the Get Off My Lawn Guy, but I'm at the ass-end of the folks who put men on the Moon with slide rules. Computers won't save these 'tards, I'm afraid.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Phonics is horrid by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #30 Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 11:39:48 AM EST
But I won't rant about that here.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
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