Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Rojo Amanecer - Mexican movie

I have not got over the shocking impact of this film ( Rojo Amanaecer means red dawn) i watched on sunday night.
It is about the student uprising in Mexico in october 1968. A middle class family is caught in the tragedy of the brutal suppression of the student unrest. The family lives in Tlateloloco in Mexico city and witnesses the tragic clampdown on student protests in the Plaza de tres culturas. The two college going boys of the family are idealistic and passionate about the struggle for justice and jump into the student movement. The father, a civil servant and the housewife- mother try to calm them down, while the grandfather, a retired military officer takes care of the smaller children. The government anxious to prevent the unpleasantness of student protest on the eve of the olympics to be hosted by mexico, is determined to put an end to the student stir. The military and police get into brutal action shooting at the student crowd and killing and injuring many. They follow it up with breaking into houses and arresting and beating up students and teachers. They break into the house of this particular family and discover students hiding there. They kill the whole family and the hiding students ruthlessly.

The movie flows naturally without hype or drama, like a documentary but with a powerful impact. The movie is said to be accurate about what happened.

The film brings back vividly the memory of Tlatelolco Massacre of 2 October 1968, one of the saddest days in Mexican history. This is what actually happened. The Mexican students joined the worldwide protests and the political unrest in 1968. After nine weeks of protests, the students took out a march on 2 October, ten days before the Mexican Olympics. The security forces killed and wounded hundreds of students on that fateful day. In june 2006, Echeverria, who was president in 1968 was charged for genocide, but nothing came of it.

Of course, worse things happened in some other latin American countries under military dictatorship. Still it is a scar and a stain in recent mexican history. Octavio Paz , who was ambassador in in India at that time resigned in protest.

The director of the film Jorge Fans has shown courage besides artistic talents in making this film which was released in 1989. I also liked his other film " Midaq Alley", which also takes up a similiar bold theme.

One of the best Mexican films..


atulg said...

dear sir,
i will see the movie. thanks for generating interest in this movie

Anonymous said...

Dear Author. I liked the way you treated the movie. Few people outside of Mexico have seen it and it really impressed me that you actually had the patience to sit through it. Just to clarify your post, the event itself was not a march, but a meeting. Also, the president back then was Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, while Echeverría was the Secretary of State. Nevertheless I congratulate you for doing an awesome job in the review.