These NYT Short Docs Offer a Look at Mexico’s Justice System, Activists & Narcos

Lead Photo: Courtesy of the Sundance Film Festival
Courtesy of the Sundance Film Festival
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For anyone who’s been paying attention, it’s clear that Mexico’s documentary filmmaking is experiencing a golden age. From Tatiana Huezo’s Tempestad and Everardo González’s La libertad del diablo to Betzabé García’s Los reyes del pueblo que no existe and Maria Jose Cuevas’s Bellas de nocherecent docs coming out of Mexico have been the toast of the town at film festivals all over the world. Wanting to showcase the talent from filmmakers across the border, the New York Times’ Op-Docs section has released “A Moment in Mexico,” a series of six short documentaries by Mexican filmmakers that offer a glimpse of their nation through their own eyes. This is the first time Op-Docs has devoted a series to films about one country, created by its own filmmakers.

The series was inspired by a trip 2013 by Kathleen Lingo, the executive producer of “A Moment in Mexico” and The Times’s editorial director of film and television, to the Morelia Film Festival in Mexico. “All the documentaries I saw were about Mexico and made by Mexican directors. The topics varied from the personal to the political,” said Lingo. “But what struck me about the films as a whole was that getting to know a country through its filmmakers is a uniquely revelatory experience. The stories were important, intimate and also tackled subjects that wouldn’t have immediate resonance to an outsider’s eye.”

The six shorts all cover ample ground. González expands the scope of La libertad del diablo with a look at what it’s like to grow up as the child of an avowed gangster, García tells the story of an activist who’s murdered on-air while hosting a radio show for fellow displaced residents of a rural town in Mexico. There’s also a film on the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, one on mental health, and another on the perils of navigating the Mexican justice system when you don’t speak Spanish. Watch them all below:

A Moment in Mexico is live on The New York Times website.