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Hola Mexican Film Festival – Bueno

Colosio El AsesinatoIn the short eight years that it’s been around, The Hola Mexico Film Festival has quickly established itself as one the most anticipated events on the cinema calendar. In any given year the program has never been less than strong, encompassing a range of genres from hard-hitting drama to comedy to confronting documentary studies of the culturual, social and criminal issues that currently plague much of Mexico. 2013 is no exception.

The opening night film is We Are The Nobles, a sharp social comedy that topped the box office in its native land. The film follows the travails of three spoiled children when their construction magnate father, appalled at their behaviour and attitudes toward the world, fakes bankruptcy to teach them a lesson, forcing them to live with their grandfather in a poverty-stricken neighbourhood and actually try and earn a living for themselves.

By contrast, The Precious And Brief Life Of Sabina Rivas from director Luis Mandoki, charts somewhat similar territory to the relatively recent Miss Bala. Greisy Mean is the titular Sabina Rivas, who dreams of crossing the border to become a singer in the United States, while her lover, Jovany (Fernando Moreno) is drawn into the criminal underworld. There’s also Tlatelolco: Summer Of ‘68, a sprawling, epic love story set in the year when Mexico City was selected to host the Olympic Games. Contrasting grand passions and a heartfelt storyline against the political and social turmoil of the period, it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser.

The Mayor, a documentary feature, tells the story of Mauricio Fernandez, a controversial political figure in northern Mexico and a man at the coalface of the current drug-related violence. A shocking and sometimes absurd portrait – the ceilings in Fernandez’s palace once belonged to William Randolph Hearst, which speaks volumes – it is one of the must-see films of the program.

So too is Colosio: El Asesinato, a political thriller based on the 1994 assassination of presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio. Playing out like a Spanish language Oliver Stone drama (back when he was good, no less) this should draw admiration from fans of the recent run of dour, convoluted and cynical action flicks.
If you find yourself in need of a corrective, Suave Patria comes highly recommended. A traditional Mexican farce, it sees tow unemployed actors being mistaken for kidnapers by a driven police commander.

The Hola Mexico Film Festival runs at Cinema Paradiso from Thursday, November 14, until Wednesday, November 20. For tickets and session times,  go to lunapalace.com.au

TRAVIS JOHNSON

Pic: Colosio: El Asesinato

 

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