20 Oct Document Festival in Glasgow devotes an entire strand to Mexican cinema

by Eva Yera

This year, Document Festival brings a complete programme full of Ibero-American documentaries to CCA Glasgow. The event kicks off this Thursday, October 20, and will last until Sunday 23. Since its establishment in 2003, Scotland’s international human rights documentary film festival has showed over 600 films, promoting and raising awareness over subjects such as immigration, women’s rights, war and conflict, self-determination, racism, LGBT rights, and drug and human trafficking among many others.

Precisely, the strand called “Desaparecidos: New Mexican Documentary” focuses on the latter topics. Four films -three of which are directed by women- form this section, which presents different dimensions of the same reality: the cruel and destructive misrule reigning in Mexico. The country is run by drug cartels, with the authorities turning a blind eye to -or taking part in- extreme violence and corruption; anyone daring to challenge them disappears.

Thi is what Nobody Plays the Trombone Anymore (Hari Sama, 2016) and Tempestad (Tatiana Huezo, 2016) are about. The former portrays life in a small Mexican rural town since Cuberto Ortiz Ramos, one of its residents, disappeared in 2014. The latter follows the story of a mother whose daughter has vanished and counters it with that of a woman who was put in jail accused of human trafficking without any evidence.

Both the Opening and Closing galas will be devoted to Mexican cinema. Kings of Nowhere (Betzabé García, 2015) will inaugurate the event showing the daily life of a family that refuses to leave its hometown despite the threats, after it was flooded by the construction of a dam. On Sunday 23, to close this festival’s edition, Plaza de la Soledad (Maya Goded, 2016) will bring a warm, personal approach to prostitution. The last film of Document Festival 2016 was premiered in Sundace earlier this year.


Plaza de la Soledad (Maya Goded)

There is one more documentary linked to Ibero-America aside the Mexican strand. Limpiadores (Fernando Luis González Mitjáns, 2015) captures the broken expectations and unequal opportunities of the Latin-American community living in what seemed a promised land: London. Not only the link comes from its protagonists, but also from its director, a Cuban migrant settled in the UK.

Apart from the aforementioned films, Document Festival offers a wider programme with titles coming from all the globe and with other activities and performances. This is a great ocassion to open our eyes to injustice and human rights violations and act accordingly, as well as to “warm up” for IberoDocs 2017.



  • October 20
    • 8.00pm: Kings of Nowhere (Betzabé García, 2015)
  • October 21
    • 3.00pm: Nobody Plays the Trombone Anymore (Hari Sama, 2016). FREE.
    • 8.30pm: Tempestad (Tatiana Huezo, 2016). Introduced by Carla Novi.
  • October 22
    • 4.00pm: Limpiadores (Fernando Luis González Mitjáns, 2015). FREE.
  • October 23
    • 8.00pm: Plaza de la Soledad (Maya Goded, 2016)