Here is a short piece I made with Brandon Jourdan, my faithful film-buddy, currently shacked up in Holland. Luckily he was passing through when Occupy Oakland staged their “Move In Day” action and we made this piece. It was commissioned for Telesur but they wound up never airing it. In any event, here ’tis.
This is a pretty damn good short animated film about the historic meeting between Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata in Xochimilco (which at the time was its own town just south of Mexico City, these days its just another neighborhood) in 1914. It’s based on original stenographic recordings of their conversation, and two days afterwards they marched on the capital and Porfirio Diaz fled the country. The film is by a Mexican art collective called Los Viumasters (http://www.viumasters.com/), and is delivered here to you my friends in honor of Mexican Independence Day, September 16th. Okay, I’m a wee bit late.
I’m still getting my feet here in Mexico City, as I haven’t spent a considerable amount of time here in many years….
But in the meantime, I’ve been working this film job and going out into the streets when I can, like today when Ali called to tell me about a big demonstration going on. So I rolled over and shot some pics and talked to some of the participants.
There were a whole slew of groups demonstrating, like these folks, called “Diableros” (Devil-men). Their job is an incredibly menial one: hauling things on dolly carts around the markets in the Centro.
Now the government is arresting them and/or fining them 500 pesos (enough to buy about 50 cheap meals, or around 40$ U.S.) for doing their job. It’s part of the ongoing efforts of the Mexico City government to “clean up” (I hate calling it that) the downtown, by getting rid of any and all evidence of poverty, i.e. street vendors, prostitutes, and manual laborers like the Diableros.
By the way, the reason they are nicknamed Diableros is because of the horn-shaped handles on their carts. You’ll also notice (on their sign above) that they are Magonistas, i.e. they take as inspiration Ricardo Flores Magon, that most famous of Mexican anarchists, who was born in Oaxaca and died in Leavenworth Prison, Kansas.
Also present were the Frente Popular Francisco Villa, marching with the micro-bus drivers who are protesting the new Metro-Bus, a dedicated bus lane on a major thoroughfare that gets exceptional traffic privlelges. This puts the smaller, poorer, micro-bus drivers at a loss and so they are taking to the streets.
Also present were Triqui folks from Oaxaca, carrying a banner in honor of the two people, Alberta Cariño Trujillo and Tyri Antero Jaakkolo (of Finland) who were killed by paramilitaries in San Juan Copola.
In any event the march went to the Procurador General de la Republica, which is sort of like the Justice Department, where there were speeches, etc. All evidence of theongoing grind that Mexico’s poor are facing under this new global austerity. More to come….
The latest development in the ongoing saga of the three U.S. hikers detained in Iran (Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd, and Josh Fattal) is that their mothers have been granted visas to travel to Evin Prison in Tehran, where they are being held, hopefully to see the release of their children. Nothing is certain and nothing has been promised, but it is still a bit of good news.
For those readers that don’t know, Shane Bauer and I made a film together in Africa called Songs To Enemies And Deserts, and more information about it can be found by clicking above on the tab of that name.
On April 9th, 2010, I sat down for toast and coffee with Immanuel Wallerstein in the San Francisco apartment of his daughter Kathy. As always he provided a sharp and sobering insight into global politics, and I have edited the conversation into short films based on the different topics we discussed. With me was Brandon Jourdan, who graciously provided the camerawork. I offer some samples now for your enjoyment…
Here I asked him the question, “What is the most important news story to be following right now?” His answer may surprise you….
On Latin America, Mexico, and their relationship to the United States:
On the medium-term prospects for the U.S. dollar:
And on the importance of Central Asia, especially as regards the recent uprising against the government in Kyrgyzstan:
Enjoy, ponder, and spread wide.