Mexican Culture Movies

Tuesday, April 5 by Annmicha Blugh

Mexican culture movies comprise part of the rich cinematic culture of Mexico, produced by Mexicans for the world.  Mexican movies are renowned for their historical emphasis especially on the role of revolutionaries in forging its independence and national identity. Often battle-ridden, the movies are explicit about illicit Mexican drug rings, Mexican food and family. 

  1. "The Mexican" (2001) Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts show the tensions between American gangs and Mexican gangs over a coveted gun called "The Mexican". Uncovering the notorious ammunition and drug business, this movie captures Brad Pitt who has to go to Mexico to retrieve "The Mexican". With a  Mexican legend concerning the gun in the background, the movie reveals the mysteries of the gun and the alleged curse that follows it. 
  2. "Frida" (2002) is another Mexican culture movie that artistically paints a picture of famous artist Frida Kahlo, who made a name for herself in the arts for her unique touch, personal flair and unconventional lifestyle. Considered a national heroine, Frida relates the life story of a talented and tragic character who took her own life. Born around the Mexican revolution period, the film highlights her medical frailty, her passion for her husband, Diego Riveras and her eccentric personality. 
  3. "Spanglish" (2004) is a classic Adam Sandler and Tea Leoni film in which Mexican-Americans acclimatize to living in the USA and make some critical decisions in the midst of cultural changes. Merging the words Spanish and English, Spanglish demonstrates what two female Mexican immigrants do when confronting challenges in a new Anglophone land and how the changes alter their relationships and perspectives. 
  4. "Y Tu Mama Tambien" (2001) features Maribel Verdu and Ana Lopez Marcado in a movie that tells a tale of teenage boys who are sexually curious and satisfy their desires through an encounter with an older woman. 
  5. "Like Water for Chocolate" (1992) is another Mexican-based film which focuses on the Mexican woman and the traditions of family and gender. This notable film is a sensual film which plays on Mexican cuisine, creating an appetite within the spectator to taste and experience Mexican food. Situated in the Mexican revolution period of the 1900s, the film brings out the role of women in the battle against deep-seated tradition of tyranny.  
  6. "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" (2003) in which Antonio Banderas, Johnny Depp,  and Salma Hayek are the protagonists. The final part to the Mariachi trilogy also narrates a tale of political turmoil, corruption in Mexico (an attempted coup d'etat), the subversive activities of drug lords and the revenge of one man for his murdered family. 
  7. "The Legend of Zorro" (2005) is the sequel to the "Mask of Zorro" (1998), in which Mexico remains the cultural background and the political event is the voting of Californians on the decision to annex Mexico as a state of the US. Zorro movies typically allude to Mexican history, dress and traditions. Set in the 1850s, Mexican culture is prominently featured by the characters and the Spanish conventions. 
  8. "The Mask of Zorro" (1998) starring Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta Jones is a one of a series of "Zorro" films depicting a legendary Robin Hood figure who champions the cause of the Mexican poor and foils the plans of corrupt government officials. The culture of Zorro is embedded in the epic story of Don Diego de la Vega, who emerged during the Mexican War of Independence.  
  9. "Desperado" (1995) starring Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek is a movie which follows its predecessor, "El Mariachi" (1992). A suspense thriller involving Mexican drug lords and a hero bent on revenging the death of his girlfriend and a disabling wound, Banderas exposes the cruel reality of the drug cartels of Mexico and the massive gang warfares form the background of this film.
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