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The filmmakers driving the new Golden Age of Mexican cinema

Jochen Kürten db
October 5, 2018

Oscars, Golden Lions, Palms and Bears — Mexican film has made it to the top. Here's a look at the country's leading directors, actors and screenwriters who are behind the country's cinema rebirth.

Alfonso Cuaron winning a Golden Lion
Image: Reuters/T. Gentile

Perhaps the most astonishing characteristic of the Mexican films that have been making it onto international screens since the turn of the century is that they appear to effortlessly merge art house style with box office success: movie-goers and film critics alike enjoy films like The Shape of Water, Babel and Pan's Labyrinth.

Mexican directors, script writers and actors have made a name for themselves on screens worldwide these past 18 years. They are regularly invited to the top film festivals, where they have received different awards. Mexican movies are popular and successful around the world.

The rebirth of Mexican cinema that started out in the 1990s is a movement that was labeled Nuevo Cine Mexicano, or New Mexican Cinema. A few Mexican movies had made an impression at film festivals and did well at national box offices during that decade, but what followed after the turn of the century was quite remarkable.

The last time the world had an eye on Mexico as a filmmaking nation was after World War II, when Spain's Luis Bunuel, the master of surrealist film, made a splash with his works from his new home in Mexican exile.

Luis Bunuel on set
Luis Bunuel on setImage: picture-alliance/akg-images

Following in Bunuel's footsteps

Inarritu, Cuaron und del Toro build on Bunuel to a point. They, too, offer the audience a magic union of stark realism and surrealist elements.

Mexico's new filmmakers are worthy successors of the great Spanish-born Bunuel, following in the footsteps of the iconic international movie director.