Following the remarkable success that contemporary Mexican filmmakers have had at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the organization has announced a celebration of the nation’s rich cinematic history with a retrospective co-curated by Academy Award-winning director Guillermo del Toro and Diana Sanchez, TIFF’s Spain, Latin America and Caribbean international programmer.
Sui generis: An Alternative History of Mexican Cinema offers an overview of Mexican cinema spanning six decades, from the golden age of the 1930s and 40s to the brink of its contemporary renaissance in the 1990s. The series comprises 25 films — including a number of rare and archival prints — and features introductions by Sanchez and special guests Arturo Ripstein and Paz Alicia Garciadiego.
“When the opportunity arose to co-curate a history of Mexican cinema with Guillermo del Toro, I jumped at the chance,” said Sanchez. “We are thrilled to offer Toronto the opportunity to see — on the big screen — the calibre and diversity of works that have been produced in Mexico for decades and that have clearly influenced the current generation of Mexican masters. We are also pleased to present such a distinctive retrospective filled with hidden gems and classic titles alike.”
“The series not just explores some of the films that most influenced myself and the current generation of filmmakers working today in Mexico, but it also reflects the depth and the richness of my country’s cinema: genre, auteurist efforts, and independent film,” said del Toro. “Many of the films we present are by filmmakers who are unafraid to play with themes, with social mores, with genre-bending stories. It speaks to a diversity and idiosyncrasy that is uniquely Mexican.”
Sui generis: An Alternative History of Mexican Cinema runs from Feb. 28 to April 6 at TIFF Bell Lightbox. The full TIFF Bell Lightbox winter 2019 lineup, including this series, is available at tiff.net.