Goodbye, Nuevo Laredo (for now)

Well, the gods of Cinema have spoken, and the shifting sands of Independent Film Financing have realigned. The entrails have been read and the stars plotted, and it has been decreed that our film project in Mexico is shutting down and going on hiatus for a few months until final monies are locked in, at which point we will return.

So Becky and I packed up the apartment we had rented off of Calle Mexico, took the posters off the walls and returned the pots and pans we’d borrowed, and went around town saying goodbye to all of the locals who had helped us in our six weeks in town.

Yes, yes, of course it was sad. People were, and are, so excited to have a film being made in their town….and now we have to leave with promises to return.

As always Mexico was lovely and frustrating and hot and slow and all together excellent. As my sister once said, I’ve been all over the world and every place I go, well, it still ain’t Mexico.

I think amazing stories will continue to be born there and one day I may just cross that ragged border headed south and never come back to this ignorant and arrogant country that I call home. I think my current case of U.S. culture shock may have a lot to do with having the misfortune to return in the midst of another deranged presidential election.

In the meantime here’s a couple of pictures-

We spent a lot of time in a neighborhood called Blanca Navidad, which is a sort of squatters’ community outside the city where the inhabitants occupied the land some years ago and have been battling the city ever since. There’s a whole sequence in the film that will be filmed there and so I was casting the locals to be extras.

This are the family and friends of Blanca and Javier, who are some of the main organizers of Blanca Navidad in their constant struggle to get services from the city and in general not to be bulldozed out of existence.

As you can see by the murals Blanca Navidad was recently visited by the Zapatistas during one of their Mexico-wide tours.

Here are some of the pictures I took of locals who were interested in being in the film

The numbers are used so I can reference their names. I know, it looks like they’re in jail.

These are tracks that run through a street market in an entirely different part of Nuevo Laredo. The market is filled with all kinds of interesting stuff and lots of good food to boot, and while you walk through it freight trains rumble by carrying cars from the plants to the south, headed north to the U.S.A.

And lastly, another wall in Monterrey detourned by Accion Poetica.

It says, “We perceive emptiness and fill it.”

Indeed.

Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room (a trailer, actually) in Austin.

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2 Responses to Goodbye, Nuevo Laredo (for now)

  1. Karina says:

    Que triste que no pudiste hacer nada con la peli. Me hubiera gustado ver una historia situada en Nuevo Laredo. You know, I am fascinated with the border region also and almost went to work for the Laredo Herald. Bueno, me gusta las fotos. Capturaste algo magico en cada uno de ellos. Beso desde Queens, NY.

  2. pauline says:

    i’m usually not one for posed photos, but i love these portraits. you can tell that they liked and trusted you. i’d love to see a sldeshow or picture book of all the portraits…

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