Documentary Films – Setting You Free…Film Series Part II

screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-8-01-48-amThe Documentary Film Series has come to D.F. in large fashion.  Friday was the opener, and as we took in the first film Friday , 8:30 PM, at The Goethe Institute, utter shock.  Shock always comes at these films as we witness events that we thought we should know about and yet do not.  Such was the case with the first film we witnessed, La Promesabased on similar events that occur from reading In Cold Blood.

“When my love swears that she is made of truth, I do believe her, though I know she lies, That she might think me some untutored youth, unlearned in the world’s false subtleties.”
Sonnet 138, Shakespeare

I could give details, but no, not until the film fest is over, just relieved when we walked out that we were not in serious relationships and the realization that how good life is as single individual, after this disturbing documentary that has escaped the attention of many.  (Macbeth has nothing on this film).  One of the best things about the DocsMX festival is the humbling of information that you discover, the opening if a window to events that are occurring in your own country, and others, that you have had no idea at all about.  Sometimes a Pandora’s Box, other times not.  La Promesa was no exception at all.  Meeting Marcus Vetter, a director from Germany, was quite intriguing to see how he became involved in this project from Germany, as it took place in Virginia.

Saturday – We headed to the Parque Mexico theatre but realized the collection of program 1 film was actually at The Goethe Institute at noon. We headed back to the Goethe, and settled in.  However, we didn’t know at the time, Program 1 of films was the children’s collection of films, which to be honest, was set up amazingly for children.

Being a few minutes late, we came on on a claymation picture, but wow, amazing.  Latvian film, Meza Sargi (Forest Guards) was unique but AWESOME.  Maris Brinkmaris is worth a double check as an animation director but this was ideal on the themes of respecting the world we live in.  Classic references to Wallace & Gromit. I was amazed at the preparations Goethe and DOCMX to have this series of films for children, and the actors on stage in between to interact with the children, it’s funny when you drop in and not knowing what Program I means on the Film schedule!


This is one of my personal favorites – The PressKit is maybe an anticipatory set to the film but no, seeing this is simply like a breath of fresh air – Perhaps one of the most beautiful films due to the scenery, the characters, the idea, was Dancing for You, about dancing the Norwegian traditional dance, the Halling, but as a young girl doing so in light of the hardships of her grandfather, documenting his fight against cancer as Vilde works through this reality.  I gave too much away already but this is one of the most beautiful documentaries originally made for children, but amazing and touching for all.  This was a huge highlight of the DocsMX fest so far. The vision of this director? – Erlend E, Mo?  True it seems to be only capable of being captured on film. The beauty of Vilde Ellegaard Westeng,  Norway, and the Halling is captured and you simply want to GO, FLY TO NORWAY, to witness.


Tibet has always been a place of mystery, absolute.  Loden is a monk in training as a young boy and this is a spectacular look into what the film, Loden the Little Monk has to offer. Idolizing Drogba Didier who plays for Chelsea, brings a sense of reality and focus into the Tibetan beliefs as well as a reverence of the breadth of Tibet.  This film carried a sense of reverence you can’t ignore, with all the previous experiences we’ve had, just being in Mexico, with Tibet.

The Ecological School -La Escuelita Ecologica – WOW.  This is again reinforcing the reality of students, at such a young age, that can change the future – this is the film that proves and shows this.  Located in the municipality of Tlaxco Tlaxcala, this is how, and only one example, of how change can occur and is vital.  The students being the voice of this documentary is perhaps one of the strongest message that Rene Lopez Caballero allows to emerge and show how such a change can occur.  This is a true example of how ecology can be preserved, on every country.


Next Stop – Utopia – Again, one of those looks into a way that government seems to stop helping, and individuals that want to change the outcomes of their country – this is an AMAZING film to see how those privileged, and maintain the privilege, despite those struggling, and fighting for a better way- this is a success story worth of examining.  When, in the United States so much accountability is being asked for in the wrong individuals, much attention is needed to be brought and given to other countries – to increase the possibility of what this country can do, and that country/ is an example of what is needed in the world, NOT walls, but a willingness to open the doors to be collaborative in helping each other, and not beating each other.  Next Stop: Utopia has so many messages worth investigating, this is something you can’t read and gather it all, you have to see the process and understand what it can mean for the world.    P.S.  I do NOT like Christina Philippou, at all!

From the director Apostolos Karakasis:

“They are going against the law, the judicial authorities and the factory’s ex-owners, while they fight to gain some kind of legal status. There are conflicts within the group as well; practicing direct democracy among people with different attitudes, convictions and ideas can be very hard. But what proves to be the hardest, is the inner conflicts each individual has to face as the times are calling for a deep personal transformation. These people in their fifties are forced to develop a new identity, one that will allow them to survive in dignity and withstand the sufferings of an «outrageous fortune». The giant shifts they have to perform can sometimes seem comic and tragic at the same time.”


La ciudad de los fragmentos La ciudad de los fragmentos – City Fragments –

La ciudad del caos constante y la calma momentánea,
del milagro vacío,
del remedio instantáneo,

de las patadas voladoras,
la ciudad sin límite de tiempo,
la ciudad de las múltiples caídas.

La ciudad es un pasatiempo, un sueño,
un juego, una contradicción
La ciudad es un destierro.

When I am flying in or out of Mexico City, I look down and still wonder, how did I get here?  It seems like a error, a mistake of luck, and yet, I realize sitting here, watching this personal documentary directed by Anaid Gonzalez Saenz, that to understand a country, is not to simply read and be taught it from my home countries’ textbooks, but to find the truth for myself.  I have been lucky to have been given a gift to see through realistic eyes, not politicians’, not blinded individuals that read what Mexico is from newspapers, but been given the gift as an American – realizing the power and pride of what Mexico is amid the painted descriptions of corruption, to see how beautiful Mexico is, and to appreciate it

This film is able to paint that picture for you!

About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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