Sunday, December 16, 2018

The film “Roma"

The latest film of the highly regarded Mexican director Alfonso Quarón is Roma, apparently in large measure autobiographical, serving as a prequel to his earlier effort, a road-comedy known as Y Tu Mamá También.

The other day I watched the new film Roma on Netflix. Despite the title, it does not refer to the capital of Italy, but to an upscale district - a kind of Beverly Hills - in Mexico City. The date is 1971, so that it is quite a trip back in time. The fate of the wonderful maid Cleo, abandoned by her callous boyfriend when she is pregnant, mirrors that of the upper-class family, itself abandoned by the father. 

I know Mexico well, and what some observers miss is the stark binary contrast of classes: the highly privileged upper-class folks, mostly of European origin, and the others, largely Indian and mestizo. In the 1920s, Mexican intellectuals boldly proclaimed the emergence of a new social formation, La Raza Cósmica, a fusion of races and ethnicities. 

Alas, Mexico seems farther away from this goal than ever. But it remains a noble vision.


Blogger Stephen said...

The upscale neighborhood, adjacent to Chapultepec Park is Colonia Polanco. See Adnois García, el vampiro de Colonia Roma. Not a slum, but seedier than Polanco.

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