Ah, Mexico… It’s a country famous and notorious for so many things it’s hard to be stereotypical or pinpoint why people like visiting so much. The amazing food helps, as does the sunny weather, and it’s Day of the Dead celebrations and music scene are legendary.
It also has an amazing cinema landscape. Like amazing. From horror movies to heavyweight dramas, to American films set in the desert, you are sure to find a film to get your Wanderlust juices going for a trip to central America.
Amores Perros (2000)
Without a doubt one of the best films ever made, let alone just in Mexico. Amores Perros (loosely translated to ‘Love’s a Bitch’ is about a car accident in Mexico City and the lives of those involved in the crash both before and after the fact. I think the film is so important for any unaware Westerners wanting to understand Catholicism’s importance in Mexico, the poverty that is still rampant and also to just watch an amazing, amazing film. Seriously, watch it.
If you’ve never heard of Frida Kahlo before, she’s quite a special lady. Born in 1907, she was an artist living in Mexico who was widely known for her unabashed self-portraits and surreal paintings. Frida is a biography starring Selma Hayek and did relatively well at the Oscars. I think it’s really important to acquaint yourself with some of the country your visiting’s history and films really are an easy, non-boring way of doing this.
El Mariachi (1992)
El Mariachi is the first in Robert Rodriguez’s Mexican trilogy which includes Desperado (1995) and finally Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003). They mainly star everyone’s favourite Spanish actor Antonio Banderas and marked the first feature film for Robert Rodriguez. El Mariachi was only supposed to be a small film released on home video in Mexico but the studio loved it so much they released it stateside. It actually won the Guinness World Record for the lowest budgeted film to gross over $1 million at the box office. Pretty impressive, right? Maybe it’s worth a watch next time you’re after a muy bien Mexican film?
Have you ever watched any of these films set in Mexico? Or have you been to Mexico and have any more films to recommend?
Other films: Y tu Mama Tambien (2001), Babel (2006), Desperado (1995), Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)