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¡VIVA MÉXICO! The Other Mexico On Film Glasgow Screening 8 May

Martin O'Neill | 29.04.2011 14:26 | Zapatista

In a journey from the mountains of southeastern Mexico to the northern border with the United States, Subcommander Marcos, Zapatista spokesperson, and the people of Mexico trace the forgotten face of a country. A celebration of the struggle for land and dignity.

Glasgow Screening

Sunday 8th May


Glasgow Film Theatre

12 Rose St
Glasgow, G3 6RB

Followed by Q&A with the director Nicolas Défossé

In 1994, a guerrilla group called the Zapatista Army for National Liberation occupied several towns in the state of Chiapas. They expressed their exasperation with a political class that did not listen to citizens, whose representatives filled their own pockets at the expense of the people and who, through their commitment to international free trade, sold off public assets and undermined the social fabric of the country. Since then, Zapatista communities in the mountains of Chiapas have declared autonomy and have implemented their own system of governance, administration, health service, and education.

Since then, the Zapatistas have reached out to other groups, both nationally in Mexico and internationally. In 2006, they started the other campaign as an alternative to the electioneering of the political parties. Representatives of the Zapatistas travelled through Mexico, met up with grassroots organizations, and listened to peoples’ grievances and their suggestions for change. ¡Viva México! follows the Zapatista representatives from historic Chiapas to the tourist resorts of Cancún, from picturesque Oaxaca to the beaches of Nayarit, from the centre of Mexico City to the streets of Los Angeles. The documentary captures fishermen, squatters, illegal immigrants, transsexual and transgendered people, hotel employees, members of indigenous communities, urban artisans, and peasants who struggle against the encroachment of the tourism industry on their land, as they tell their stories and enter into dialogue with the Zapatista representatives.

¡Viva México! gives a unique image of a dignified, resistant and committed Mexico. It affords a rare insight into the political and social reality lived by those whose voices rarely find their ways into the media. It is also, and beyond the dimension of Mexico, a powerful documentation of an alternative way of doing ‘politics’.

Nicolas Défossé is a French filmmaker who lives in Chiapas. Among his films are La Yerbabuena and Breaking the Siege (with Mario Viveros). ¡Viva México! has received numerous awards, among them the ‘Salvador Allende’ Award for best documentary from the Latin American Film Festival of Brussels, Belgium; the Audience Award for best independent documentary at the Latin American Film Festival in Bordeaux, France; the Audience Award for Best Documentary from the International Human Rights Film Festival in Sucre, Bolivia; and the Audience Award for best documentary at the Film Festival of Tepoztlan, Mexico.

Glasgow Chiapas Solidarity Group:

Martin O'Neill