Film Archive

Jahr

Focus Latin America 2012
Drought Everardo González

A cattle farm in the dry Northeast of Mexico: man and animal fighting for survival against the drought, until the rain falls... An archaic cycle in impressive images.

Drought

Documentary Film
Mexico
2011
84 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Martha Orozco, Cienega Docs S.A. de C.V.; Foprocine
Everardo González
Everardo González
Felipe Gómez, Clementina Mantellini
Everardo González
Pablo Tamez, Sound Design: Matias Barberis
“Cuates de Australia” doesn’t sound very Mexican, though it’s the name of a cattle farm in the dry Northeast of the country. A place that’s isolated from the world, without electricity, paved roads or fresh drinking water. The present inhabitants don’t know where the name came from. Life at “Cuates de Australia” is hard and the drought comes earlier every year, threatening to destroy the farmers’ livelihood. They endure until the springs dry up, the first animals die of thirst and the coyotes sneak closer and closer to the herd. Only then do the people and animals leave the village. A long caravan sets out in search of pasture and water, a place where they can wait for the rain while the daily chores must continue even now. Everardo González takes a calm look at the work of these men, women, old people and children and finds impressive images for man’s struggle for survival. When at last the first rain drops fall, the atmosphere suddenly changes: new colours arise, birdsong drives away the silence and a mood of departure spreads among the people. The old cycle of life resumes and hope returns to “Cuates de Australia” and its people. Sustained by a quiet rhythm, this film is a monument to an archaic lifestyle whose end is foreseeable.

– Paulo de Carvalho

Magic Words (to Break a Spell)

Documentary Film
Guatemala,
Mexico,
Nicaragua
2012
82 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Jorge Sanchéz, Amaranta SA de CV
Mercedes Moncada Rodríguez
Leoncio Lara Bon
Carlos R. Rossini y Cuco Villarías
Mercedes Cantero
Mercedes Moncada Rodríguez
Lena Esquenazi
On 19 June 1979, the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua triumphed over the Somoza regime. This moment of upheaval in Nicaraguan society made an deep impression on eight-year-old Mercedes Moncada – even though she was still a child, it shaped her political consciousness. Three decades later the filmmaker takes a very personal and emotional look at the revolution by going in search of what’s left of Sandino’s promise in Managua. The growing disappointment at the path chosen by the Sandinistas is gradually revealed in observations, flashbacks and reflections. What started out with the aim of creating a “new man” ended in a system of political wangling and personal power and class interests. The revolutionary movement is slowly turning into a new authoritarian regime. Mercedes Moncada Rodriguez’s political and courageous film does not seek the moral high ground but presents a critical self-examination whose implications go far beyond the political developments in Nicaragua.

Paulo de Carvalho