Happy Cinco De Mayo everyone! A special day for all of the Mexicans and members of the Mexican diaspora. And no. Although it’s sometimes mistaken for Mexico’s Independence Day, it’s actually not the Independence Day celebrations on May the 5th. However, it’s an equally important holiday and we’re here to honor and celebrate it. Hey, we celebrated Star Wars day yesterday, so it’s time for a real-life holiday. But first… A brief mention of the history behind the day is in need here.
Cinco De Mayo: What’s The Day All About?
Well, as you probably know by now, Cinco De Mayo is an annual celebration held on May 5. Furthermore, the date of the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla. On May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza. And because of the victory of the smaller Mexican force against a larger French force did give the Mexicans a boost to morale. A year after this they were defeated and invaded by the French. But this particular day of triumph is being celebrated by Mexicans all over the globe. Not just in Mexico alone. Not to mention a modern Cinco De Mayo is a day of drinking.
And to go with the theme of the entire post, we’ve composed a list of fantastic Mexican movies. But because IndieGala has some fantastic games too, we thought that it’s good to mention Railway Empire – Mexico. A fantastic simulation/strategy game in which you get to discover the diversity and the culture of Mexico. We have it available for purchase here at IndieGala, and all you have to do is click here. You’re welcome.
Cinco De Mayo And Some Cool Movies For You
Indeed. We thought that it would be great to honor and celebrate Mexican culture by mentioning one fantastic aspect of that culture. The even fabulous and strong Mexican cinematography. So, with that in mind, we also selected a bunch of great movies from Mexican cinema (and one from Hollywood too). But we do hope that you’ll enjoy our picks in this particular article. There are dramas here, animated movies and romance movies too. Hope you’ll enjoy our picks and we hope that you’ll celebrate Cinco De Mayo responsibly. There’s a raging pandemic outside after all. Let’s begin, shall we?
Like Water For Chocolate
I just had to start with Like Water for Chocolate since it’s probably one of my all-time favorite Mexican movies. Seriously, it’s soo good. I had to pleasure to actually watch and review Like Water For Chocolate as a school assignment. And I loved every moment of that movie. It portrays traditions, family expectations and gender roles in society perfectly. Especially in the early 20th century, and the themes do resonate today beautifully. Not to mention it has a forbidden love story in the middle of it. And it involves one of my favorite past-times. Cooking/eating delicious food. It’s fantastic.
Fun fact: An aspiring filmmaker from Texas, who was not involved with the project, spent time on set, because he was in town shooting a small budget full-length feature film. That young filmmaker was Robert Rodriguez, and the film was El Mariachi. Cool right?
A Disney computed animated movie, but one of the finest in Disney’s vault nonetheless. But Coco is about the incredible journey of a 12-year-old boy named Miguel. He gets transported to the Land Of The Dead where he asks for the help of his ancestor in order to get back among the living. And to get the ban on music lifted within his family too. Coco is truly an endearing and touching story with a great voice cast. Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt are part of the cast. And so is Edward James Olmos. It’s a must-watch for every Disney fan, and yes. It’s a must for this Cinco Del Mayo.
Fun fact: This film opened in Mexico three and a half weeks before it opened in the U.S., where it surpassed The Avengers (2012) as the country’s highest-grossing film.
Y Tu Mamá También
Probably my favorite Alfonso Cuaron movie. Well, only second to Children of Men. But yeah. Y Tu Mamá También is a true masterpiece of Mexican cinema and a movie that every film buff should watch. At least once in his lifetime. Y Tu Mamá También is actually about two friend’s journey to a remote beach. Unknowingly they’re embarking on a road trip with a dying woman, and the trip will change their lives completely. Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal are exceptionally good here, but so is Maribel Verdu. It’s really a must for every Alfonso Cuaron fan.
Fun fact: The end scene where they talk while having a coffee was the first scene from the production.
Let’s add another Alfonso Cuaron movie, shall we? Because why not? And yeah, i’m talking about Roma. Although not the best in Cuaron’s body of work (sorry not sorry) it is a great movie nonetheless. Shot in black and white, on Mexican locations and with Mexican actors. It’s his return to his homeland after decades in Hollywood. Furthermore, Roma has a vastly smaller budget than Cuaron’s previous movies, but it’s good. Really good. It’s a full-on period-piece drama that yet again has feminists undertones. Add to this the meticulous direction/cinematography from Cuaron, and it’s a movie for the ages.
Fun fact: The delivery scene in the hospital is actually a one take shot. The doctors and nurses were real, not actors.
First movie in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s „trilogy of death“. But a damn fine movie of course, with three different stories in the middle of it. It’s also the second movie on this list to have Gael Garcia Bernal in the cast, but it’s just as fantastic as Cuaron’s movie. Furthermore, Amores Perros portrays a fairly realistic portrait of violence. Several types of violence. Domestic violence, street violence and so on. It’s also the movie that got dogfighting banned in Mexico, so yeah. It’s a fantastic movie with fantastic actors in it. And of course the incredible use of hyperlink cinema style.
Fun fact: The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ music video for their song “By The Way” has heavy inspiration from the film’s opening car chase scene.
The Crime of Padre Amaro
Yet another movie with Gael García Bernal in the lead? Sure why not? It’s a fantastic movie nonetheless and in it, he plays Padre Amaro. A young priest that’s sent to a small parish church in Los Reyes. He’s on the verge of strange entanglement in a dangerous web of passion, corruption and local politics, but will that be the case?. And if people thought the movie is controversial in 2002, just think what the reaction was in the late 19th century. When the book was published, the book caused a social scandal. But the movie adaptation is great, and I highly recommend it. It’s worth your time.
Fun fact: In 2002, this film became the highest-grossing Mexican film of all time. Despite the efforts, of some religious groups to ban the movie.
Frida Still Life
Yes, at the end of this post I’m going to ignore the Hollywood depiction of Frida Kahlo. And I’ll go with the Mexican biopic from the early ’80s. I just felt it’s more authentic and believable and it honors the Mexican legend best. If you’re a fan of Frida Kahlo sure watch the Salma Hayek version, but don’t miss out on this one. Ofelia Medina plays the iconic painter, while Juan José Gurrola portrays her husband. Diego Rivera. It’s a good movie and you shouldn’t miss it. It’s worth the watch too.
Fun fact: In the scene in which the man is giving a puppet show, he whistles the theme from Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. This scene would have taken place in the ’20s. The Prokofiev dates from 1936.
Happy Cinco De Mayo everyone
We hope that you enjoy this day, and celebrate it responsibly.