Instituto Cervantes Pekin to host Mexican film fest for World Book Day

21/04/2010 at 12:10 am Leave a comment

The Instituto Cervantes will be screening five Mexican films adapted from classic Mexican novels for a mini-film festival starting on Friday. The festival is running in conjunction with World Book Day on April 23.

A film directed by Carlos Vela, Pedro Páramo (1966), will be screened on World Book Day, and is based on the classic novella by Juan Rulfo that is widely regarded to have kick started the “magical realism” period in the Latin arts. Highly symbolic and metaphorical, the film follows a father’s search for his son during the Mexican Revolution and regarded by critics as the “Citizen Kane of Mexican cinema.”

The Mexican embassy in Beijing told the Global Times that they chose to highlight Pedro Páramo because it’s the most widely known novel outside of Latin America.

“These films are a journey through the history of Mexico,” said an embassy spokesperson when asked about the films’ relevance to modern audiences. “Most of the films are from the golden age of Mexican cinema and this festival is a part of bicentennial celebrations for our independence and the centennial of the Mexican Revolution.”

Screening on April 17, the film Dona Bárbara (1942) is a grand romantic drama in the classic South American tradition. Directed by Fernando de Fuentes and based on the novel by Venezuelan author Romulo Gallegos (who also co-wrote the screenplay), Dona Bárbara could easily put both Dynasty and Dallas to shame given that it includes just about everything you’d want in an overblown romantic epic: wealthy and bitter landowners, feuds, gang rape, bribery, theft, revenge, secret lovers, redemption and more.

Heroine Dona Barbara uses the men in her life to illegally obtain wealth and power through her cattle ranch. Enter Santos Luzardo, another wealthy landowner who’s just returned from abroad to take control of his family’s ranch, who then suspects Dona Barbara of stealing his cattle. Santo Luzardo plots to overthrow her and tip the balance of power in the region.

The closing film of the festival, screening on April 30, is La Rosa Blanca (1961). Directed by Roberto Gavaldon and based on the novel by Mauricio Magdalena, the film was banned in Mexico for 10 years before finally being released in 1971. The Mexican government was uncomfortable with the film’s subject matter, which included a family’s struggle against an oil company and the social consequences of a country having oil reserves.

The festival begins on April 16 with a screening of Santa (1931), which was based on a novel of the same name by Federico Gamboa. All films are in Spanish with English subtitles, and admission is free.

Where: Instituto Cervantes, A1 Gongti Nanlu

When: Apr 16, 16, 23, 24 and 30, 7 pm

Contact: 5879-9666

Sourced from:


RiverRun Film Fest starts tomorrow with Mexican flavour 13th Cine Las Americas International Film Festival

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