The Golden Age of Mexican Cinema

By David Johanssen

Shelter celebrates September’s Fiestas Patrias (patriotic holidays) with the Época de Oro or “Golden Age” of Mexican cinema, the period from 1936 to 1959 when Mexican cinema reached its artistic peak. Starting with the classic Vámonos con Pancho Villa directed by Fernando de Fuentes, films became wholly Mexican instead of following the stereotypical Hollywood model. The success of Mexican films continued after World War II, when Mexican cinema became the center of the motion picture industry for Latin America. All month, Shelter Theater will be screening some of the rare gems from the Golden Age of Mexican cinema with distinguished hosts to hold discussions of the films and history afterwards.

Documentary and Discussion
The Other Side of Immigration
Fri, Sep 2, 5pm
60 pesos

Video and Discussion
Munk Debate: The Global Refugee Crisis
Sun, Sep 4, 5pm
100 pesos (includes drink)

Classic Film
Vámonos con Pancho Villa
Wed, Sep 7, 5pm
Spanish, English Subtitles
100 pesos (includes drink)

Classic Film
Los Olvidados: Luis Buñuel
Fri, Sep 9, 5pm
Spanish, English Subtitles
100 pesos (includes drink)

All events are at the Shelter Theater
Vicente Guerrero 4

We begin with Vámonos con Pancho Villa on Wednesday, September 7, at 5pm. It is the story of the Mexican Revolution as told by six brave peasants who join Pancho Villa’s army. The New York Times asserts, “This is the movie where style is at its best as everything just fits nicely with a vision of the Revolution. Vámonos con Pancho Villa was de Fuentes’ true masterpiece about the Mexican Revolution.”

Los Olvidados, on Friday, September 9, at 5pm, is the classic 1952 film that reinvigorated director Luis Buñuel’s career. A group of juvenile delinquents live a violent and crime-filled life in the festering slums of Mexico City. According to Nick Funnell in Time Out, “It’s a masterpiece that tangles individual and social ills into a knot, which, as we’re warned in an opening voiceover, offers no easy way to untie, rousing a sickening sense of injustice.

The documentary The Other Side of Immigration, screening on Friday, September 2, at 5pm, asks what happens to the families and communities left behind when workers venture far from home looking to improve their lives. According to Douglas S. Massey of Princeton University, “The Other Side of Immigration does more than any other work to give people otherwise disparaged as ‘threatening’ and ‘illegal’ a human face….”

On Sunday, September 4, at 5 pm: Munk Debate: The Global Refuge Crisis. Nigel Farage and author Mark Steyn debate former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour and historian Simon Schama on how developed nations should deal with the global refugee crisis.


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