La Jornada – Two Mexican audiovisual works applaud in the Leipzig competition


Leipzig. The applause at the end of the functions did not wait. They were recognition of the work of young Mexican filmmakers who take part in the DOK Leipzig Documentary and Animation Film Festival in Germany.

Disappearance of artisanal fishing and extreme pollution of the sea. salt men, seven-minute short film by Luis Armando Sosa Gil (1990), participates in the section of international works. He has been selected in other competitions, from Canada to New Zealand. In addition to support from Mexican institutions and authorities, there have been others, such as the National Geographic Society, a global organization that promotes the conservation of the environment and historical heritage.

It is the story of Cristóbal, a fisherman from the port of Lázaro Cárdenas, who returns from the United States to his small community to support his parents, who work in the same trade. The filmmaker reveals how unbridled industrial fishing destroys families, with the economic and social consequences that this entails. “Communities are protecting themselves and the sea. There are corruption issues, and some voices that are being raised are being silenced.” salt men It also warns of the lack of scruples of certain companies that dump their waste in the water. The scenes from the bottom of the sea with Cristobal picking up trash are moving. His testimony that he suffers from a degenerative disease is skillfully used as a metaphor for the union between man and the current state of the sea in this region.

On the other hand, director Mariana Flores Villalba (1991) brings to Leipzig the invisible border story in which the viewer witnesses the existence of a Mexican naval base that since 1957 has been 700 kilometers from the coast of Colima, Isla Socorro, guarded by soldiers. The presence of these is replaced approximately every six weeks, making them a kind of hosts who at the same time are imprisoned by the difficulty of access.

In a conversation with this medium, the director comments on her long, perhaps very long journey to obtain the necessary authorizations to carry out her work. Although he has developed a successful career in short films, the invisible border This is his first feature film.

Regarding the beauty of the island’s flora and fauna, he comments: “I worked with three very talented photographers, friends of mine with whom I get along very well and with whom I studied: Luis Montalvo, José Estefan and Claudia Becerril”.

Soldiers are depicted doing drills required in the military system, maintaining their weapons, sharing board games, celebrating someone’s birthday, or singing, resting in a hammock, or discuss. According to the director, these men do various activities to support their families.

“We were received with kindness, although some soldiers refused to be behind the camera, which I understand. In general, the welcome was warm, although the last trip was more difficult; I still don’t know how I was allowed to film. We offered creative writing workshops to gain their trust,” he commented.

The soldiers’ narrative revolves around the daily life of violence on earth and the reflection on the reasons that led them to decide to stay on the side of justice and not organized crime.

Fishing with bare hands and the way they go about disemboweling animals that are still alive or cutting off their heads is, in a way, an expression of the internal violence that characterizes or probably underlies members of the armed forces.

The testimonies of the soldiers could not be more impressive because of the contrast that the atmosphere of absolute tranquility of the island of Socorro imparts.

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