Movies This Week

Updated Thursday, Sept. 29, this schedule is annotated and curated by Jeffery R. Sipe.

Compartimento Cinematográfico at Mezcal Art, next to Immigration on Calzada de la estacion - free
Cine Bacco, full schedule at the bottom of this page, inside Ristorante Bacco/Hotel Sautto, Hernandez Macias 59 - $130
Teatro Santa Ana, inside of the Biblioteca, Relox 50a - $75, members $35
Cine Club en Cartelera, Casa de Cultura, Mesones 71 - free
Central Park – Hybrid Drive-In at Central Park, Calzada de la Estacion 114 - by donation
Tecolote, Mercado Sano, 123 Ancha San Antoniofull schedule at the bottom of this page, $100, including popcorn
Bellas Artes, 25 peso admission; students and persons over 60 are free

*****

Teatro Santa Ana Film Program

*****

Thursday, September 29

Compartimento Cinematográfico

Sanctorum
Mije with English and Spanish subtitles
Director: Joshua Gil
6pm

by Jeffrey Sipe

Campesinos struggling to forge a sustainable life in the face of threats from both cartels and the military has spawned a number of Mexican features and short films in the past few years. In 2021, the film adaptation of Jennifer Clement's novel, Prayers for the Stolen, was Mexico's submission for the Best International Feature Academy Award while the Guanajuato International Film Festival has screened shorts that focus on young adults faced with the decision of choosing between a life with the cartels or one of poverty.

Director Joshua Gil's Sanctorum treads similar ground but adds a metaphysical context that is unique within the genre. It is both mysterious and magical without diminishing the reality of the violence and fear that has taken over the lives of those who know little beyond working the land. In the end, the story is quite simple. But its implications are enormous.

Shot almost entirely in mije, an indigenous language spoken near Oaxaca, with mostly non-professional actors, Sanctorum depicts a farming village that is caught between the cartels and the military, with marijuana having now become the only viable crop. The cartel is paying peanuts to the villagers who cultivate the weed while the military casts them as criminals working with the cartels. "It's all I know how to do," says one farmer, referring to farming.

The film opens with an old couple discussing a strange phenomenon – a sound "like a bell in the sky," says one character – that has mystified the entire village. "Something is going to happen," says the old man and, indeed, the sound is a harbinger of things to come. Gil also makes a plea through the character of the village's teacher, the film's moral center, during a community meeting to discuss the deterioration of the lives of the campesinos.

"The pain that we feel is enormous and our patience has come to an end. The government thinks that we are criminals. And that is a lie. We are farmers and we cannot do anything else. We only plant the weed in order to feed our children. We have no other option. Every day the narcos kill us and when they leave, the army arrives. They humiliate us. They treat us like animals. They beat us. They attack our women. We cannot allow this anymore..."

This is the message Gil wants to convey but he does not present battles between the campesinos, the cartel and local officials. Instead, he presents an apocalyptic vision that is the universe's way of putting an end to the inescapable evil that has descended upon the village.

Sanctorum is a film based on violence but there is very little in the way of on-screen violence. We see it from afar; we hear it behind closed doors. We know about the sickening violence. But the lives of the campesinos are front-and-center, lives that were the same for centuries until the cartels moved in.

Sanctorum is a beautiful but challenging film, one that requires serious concentration on the part of the viewer. The effort is well worth it.

50 o Dos ballenas se encuentran en la playa (50 or 2 Whales Meet on the Beach) Mexico 2022
Spanish without subtitles
8pm

Two 17-year-olds, Félix and Elisa. They meet playing the Blue Whale Game, fall in love and decide to take on together the game's final challenge: Suicide

CineTeca and Cine Bacco, see schedules below.

Friday, September 30

Teatro Santa Ana

Valley of the Dolls
English with Spanish subtitles
3pm, 6pm

Based on the 1966 novel of the same name written by Jacqueline Susann, it tells how the young woman from the provinces Anne Welles is hired as a secretary in the theatrical agency that represents Helen Lawson, a ruthless Broadway diva who fears that the talented Neely O'Hara will make her shadow, forcing Anne's boss to pressure the young woman to leave the show that is about to premiere. Disgusted by the injustice done to Neely, Anne decides to leave the agency, but Lyon Burke, her boss's handsome partner, talks her out of quitting. Shortly afterward, Anne and Neely befriend Jennifer North, an untalented showgirl whose only weapon is her physical attractiveness. The three women, equally ambitious, will share the fortune and misfortune of the entertainment world, where addictions and love failures will plunge them into a spiral of self-destruction from which not all of them will be able to get out.

CineTeca and Cine Bacco, see schedules below.

Saturday, October 1

Compartimento Cinematográfico

Cine para niños
Films for San Miguel's younger set
4pm

Estamos muy emocionados con la gran respuesta que hemos tenido de parte de nuestras audiencias más jóvenes por lo que estamos expandiendo nuestra programación infantil. Presentaremos una selección de cortometrajes animados para toda la familia todos los sábados a partir de las 4pm y los domingos a partir de las 2pm.

We're extremely excited about the great response from our youngest audiences and therefore thrilled to expan our kid's programming on the weekends. We're presenting a special selection of animated shorts understandable in both English and Spanish for the whole family every saturday form 4pm and sundays from 2pm.

6pm La ruleta de la fortuna y la fantasía/ Wheel of fortune and Fantasy I
Japanese w Spanish and english subtitles

Sanctorum
Mije with English and Spanish subtitles
8pm
See description below, Wedensday

CineTeca and Cine Bacco see schedules below.

Sunday, October 2

Compartimento Cinematográfico

Cine para niños
Films for San Miguel's younger set
2-4pm

CineTeca, see schedule below.

Monday, October 3

Teatro Santa Ana

Sonora
Spanish with English subtitles

3pm

Sonora is a Mexican drama film based on the book La Ruta de los Caídos by writer Guillermo Munro Palacio.
It tells a story set in the year 1931 when the Chinese were expelled from the state of Sonora pointing out that they were guilty of most of the diseases that were beginning to spread at the time, at the same time that the United States began a massive deportation of Mexicans and closed its southern borders, due to these events twelve people unknown to each other and of different nationalities venture on a trip through the Sonoran desert to reach the city of Mexicali and find peace there, as the trip problems arise between the crew for issues of social class, racism, greed, xenophobia and paranoia, with some considering a deadly fate.

Tuesday, October 4

CineTeca and Cine Bacco, see schedules below.

Compartimento Cinematográfico

Wednesday, October 5

Sanctorum
mixe w spanish and english subtitles
Director: Joshua Gil
6pm

By Jeffrey Sipe

Campesinos struggling to forge a sustainable life in the face of threats from both cartels and the military has spawned a number of Mexican features and short films in the past few years. In 2021, the film adaptation of Jennifer Clement's novel, Prayers for the Stolen, was Mexico's submission for the Best International Feature Academy Award while the Guanajuato International Film Festival has screened shorts that focus on young adults faced with the decision of choosing between a life with the cartels or one of poverty.

Director Joshua Gil's Sanctorum treads similar ground but adds a metaphysical context that is unique within the genre. It is both mysterious and magical without diminishing the reality of the violence and fear that has taken over the lives of those who know little beyond working the land. In the end, the story is quite simple. But its implications are enormous.

Shot almost entirely in mije, an indigenous language spoken near Oaxaca, with mostly non-professional actors, Sanctorum depicts a farming village that is caught between the cartels and the military, with marijuana having now become the only viable crop. The cartel is paying peanuts to the villagers who cultivate the weed while the military casts them as criminals working with the cartels. "It's all I know how to do," says one farmer, referring to farming.

The film opens with an old couple discussing a strange phenomenon – a sound "like a bell in the sky," says one character – that has mystified the entire village. "Something is going to happen," says the old man and, indeed, the sound is a harbinger of things to come. Gil also makes a plea through the character of the village's teacher, the film's moral center, during a community meeting to discuss the deterioration of the lives of the campesinos.

"The pain that we feel is enormous and our patience has come to an end. The government thinks that we are criminals. And that is a lie. We are farmers and we cannot do anything else. We only plant the weed in order to feed our children. We have no other option. Every day the narcos kill us and when they leave, the army arrives. They humiliate us. They treat us like animals. They beat us. They attack our women. We cannot allow this anymore..."

This is the message Gil wants to convey but he does not present battles between the campesinos, the cartel and local officials. Instead, he presents an apocalyptic vision that is the universe's way of putting an end to the inescapable evil that has descended upon the village.

Sanctorum is a film based on violence but there is very little in the way of on-screen violence. We see it from afar; we hear it behind closed doors. We know about the sickening violence. But the lives of the campesinos are front-and-center, lives that were the same for centuries until the cartels moved in.

Sanctorum is a beautiful but challenging film, one that requires serious concentration on the part of the viewer. The effort is well worth it.

LA RUTA DEL TALENTO: Tamara y la Catarina
7:30pm

CineTeca and Cine Bacco, see schedules below.

Thursday, October 6

Compartimento Cinematográfico

Users
6pm

This documentary explores the dark side of the technology that has taken over our lives and questions its real value in improving life on the planet.

50 o Dos ballenas se encuentran en la playa (50 or 2 Whales Meet on the Beach) Mexico 2022
Spanish without subtitles
8pm

Two 17-year-olds, Félix and Elisa. They meet playing the Blue Whale Game, fall in love and decide to take on together the game's final challenge: Suicide

CineTeca and Cine Bacco, see schedules below.

Friday, October 7

Teatro Santa Ana

Stage Fright
English with Spanish subtitles
Dir. Alfred Hitchcock
7pm

A man who is wanted by the police, accused of having killed his lover's husband, takes refuge in the house of his friend Eve, to whom he confesses that the real murderer is his lover, the actress Charlotte Inwood. Eve decides to investigate on her own, but when she meets the detective in charge of the case, she begins to fall in love.

CineTeca and Cine Bacco, see schedules below.

Saturday, October 8

Compartimento Cinematográfico

Cine para niños
Films for San Miguel's younger set
4pm

Estamos muy emocionados con la gran respuesta que hemos tenido de parte de nuestras audiencias más jóvenes por lo que estamos expandiendo nuestra programación infantil. Presentaremos una selección de cortometrajes animados para toda la familia todos los sábados a partir de las 4pm y los domingos a partir de las 2pm.

We're extremely excited about the great response from our youngest audiences and therefore thrilled to expan our kid's programming on the weekends. We're presenting a special selection of animated shorts understandable in both English and Spanish for the whole family every saturday form 4pm and sundays from 2pm.

Sanctorum
Mije with English and Spanish subtitles
6pm

By Jeffrey Sipe

Campesinos struggling to forge a sustainable life in the face of threats from both cartels and the military has spawned a number of Mexican features and short films in the past few years. In 2021, the film adaptation of Jennifer Clement's novel, Prayers for the Stolen, was Mexico's submission for the Best International Feature Academy Award while the Guanajuato International Film Festival has screened shorts that focus on young adults faced with the decision of choosing between a life with the cartels or one of poverty.

Director Joshua Gil's Sanctorum treads similar ground but adds a metaphysical context that is unique within the genre. It is both mysterious and magical without diminishing the reality of the violence and fear that has taken over the lives of those who know little beyond working the land. In the end, the story is quite simple. But its implications are enormous.

Shot almost entirely in mije, an indigenous language spoken near Oaxaca, with mostly non-professional actors, Sanctorum depicts a farming village that is caught between the cartels and the military, with marijuana having now become the only viable crop. The cartel is paying peanuts to the villagers who cultivate the weed while the military casts them as criminals working with the cartels. "It's all I know how to do," says one farmer, referring to farming.

The film opens with an old couple discussing a strange phenomenon – a sound "like a bell in the sky," says one character – that has mystified the entire village. "Something is going to happen," says the old man and, indeed, the sound is a harbinger of things to come. Gil also makes a plea through the character of the village's teacher, the film's moral center, during a community meeting to discuss the deterioration of the lives of the campesinos.

"The pain that we feel is enormous and our patience has come to an end. The government thinks that we are criminals. And that is a lie. We are farmers and we cannot do anything else. We only plant the weed in order to feed our children. We have no other option. Every day the narcos kill us and when they leave, the army arrives. They humiliate us. They treat us like animals. They beat us. They attack our women. We cannot allow this anymore..."

This is the message Gil wants to convey but he does not present battles between the campesinos, the cartel and local officials. Instead, he presents an apocalyptic vision that is the universe's way of putting an end to the inescapable evil that has descended upon the village.

Sanctorum is a film based on violence but there is very little in the way of on-screen violence. We see it from afar; we hear it behind closed doors. We know about the sickening violence. But the lives of the campesinos are front-and-center, lives that were the same for centuries until the cartels moved in.

Sanctorum is a beautiful but challenging film, one that requires serious concentration on the part of the viewer. The effort is well worth it.

LA RUTA DEL TALENTO Angeles Cruz presenta: Nudo Mixteco (A Mixtec Knot)
Spanish with English subtitles
7:30pm

by Jeffrey Sipe

Nudo Mixteco (A Mixtec Knot), actress/director Angeles Cruz's debut feature film about the travails of three Mixteca women who find themselves chafing in the stranglehold of tradition that dominates their small village in the highlands around Oaxaca. Despite its setting in a small village, part of an indigenous culture that is seldom if ever presented on-screen, the challenges, the hurdles and the barriers to women realizing themselves in Mixtec society are universally understood and experienced even if Mixtec rituals, beliefs and lifestyle are unique.

"I made this film mainly for my community," Cruz, a native Mixtec who grew up in a village similar to the one depicted in Nudo Mixteco, explained. "I wanted to raise questions in the manner that questions are raised in the cinema…I arrived in the community, and we spoke about the things that concern me and that I felt a need to reflect on. I took all of this into account when I was making Nudo Mixteco."

In the film, Maria returns to the village from the city to mourn and to attend her mother's funeral, though her father rejects her, blaming her and her relationship with another woman in the village for her mother's death. Chabela, whose husband left to work in the US and returns to find his wife living with another man, defends herself against his demands to return to him, angrily shouting, "YOU deserted ME!", which leads to a shocking act of violence. And Toña returns from the city to take her young daughter away from an abusive uncle who has molested more than one female family member.

"Nudo Mixteco recounts specific events but I think all women have to confront these same issues," Cruz continued. "It is fundamental that the first territory to defend is our body and the right to do with it what we want."

To the outside observer, there appear to be numerous cultural peculiarities to Mixtec life, but Cruz believes that the basics of life are pretty much the same everywhere.
"In a film, when we talk about the specific individuals, " the director said, "we are talking about all of humanity. I treat my own personal experience as a means of connecting with humanity, in general, both women and men."

The film was four years in the making and Cruz credits cinematographer Carlos Correia for understanding exactly what she wanted, providing a play of light and shadows to convey the intimacy of many locations, granting importance to characters as they move in and out of the light. Cruz points to the kitchen in Mixtec homes as a particularly intimate environment where the most personal and profound conversations take place, and she praised Correa for enhancing that truth visually.

Cruz traveled around Mixtec villages in the Oaxacan Highlands screening the film for the very people it was made for, about and with. A collaborative effort with the villagers themselves, the film has six professional actors and counts on the villagers to grant it verisimilitude. Nudo Mixteco is a look at a culture that may, at times, seem unfair and old-fashioned but, in the end, is not so unlike the ones in which we all grew up.

CineTeca and Cine Bacco see schedules below.

Sunday, October 2

Compartimento Cinematográfico

Cine para niños
Films for San Miguel's younger set
2-4pm

CineTeca, see schedule below.

****

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