After traveling across Mexico for over a year, musician and movie director Duncan Bridgeman has introduced Hecho En Mexico (Made In Mexico), a fantastic documentary offering a vivid and capturing representation of Mexican identity. At the bottom of that representation, the different genres and styles that define Mexican music today provide the viewer with the most accurate explanation surrounding the meaning of being Mexican. The following is an overview of the team, cast and music behind this production.
The Making of The Movie
Hecho En Mexico is first and foremost, a musical documentary. This is explained by the team that put together the movie. British director Duncan Bridgeman is primarily a musician whose latest works have been shaped by his own interest in World music and alternative lifestyles.
Likewise, Lynn Fainchtein, the movie's producer, brought her enormous experience in the music business to make a solid contribution to the movie and its soundtrack. In the past, she was involved as a music supervisor with movies like Babel, Amores Perros and Precious.
After being invited to Mexico by producer Bernardo Gomez, Duncan Bridgeman arrived to the country with the idea of creating a document capable of reflecting the "beauty and creativity of Mexican culture." "My Job was simply to seek out the inspirational and collect as many creative jewels as I could to build a unique audio visual tapestry," stated Duncan Bridgeman about the making of the movie.
With that idea in mind, the team brought together a cast made of well-known stars as well as local, indigenous and traditional musicians. The top artists featured in this production represent all kinds of genres and rhythms including Pop, Mexican Rock, Alternative, Urban and Regional music. Some of them include singers and bands like Carla Morrison, Gloria Trevi, Ruben Albarran (Cafe Tacvba), Leon Larregui (Zoe), Natalia Lafourcade, Rene Perez (Calle 13), Alejandro Fernandez, Lila Downs, Los Tucanes de Tijuana, La Original Banda El Limon and the legendary singer Chavela Vargas. Traditional music is represented by groups such as Los Cojolites, Grupo Mono Blanco and El Venado Azul.
An Intellectual Journey
Besides the music, Hecho En Mexico provides a powerful reflection about different issues ranging from social and political problems such as immigration, violence and social inequality to universal dilemmas dealing with the never-ending understanding of things like freedom, spirituality and happiness.
These stimulating insights are articulated throughout the movie by a selected group of Mexican intellectuals that includes people like author and screenwriter Laura Esquivel, actors Daniel Gimenez Cacho and Diego Luna, sociologist and writer Juan Villoro, journalist and historian Hector Aguilar Camin, social activist Cristina Muñoz, and writer Angeles Mastretta, among others.
The ideas and reflections explored by these intellectuals are very stimulating. However, I think they lack a bit of confrontation. Although Hecho En Mexico was conceived as a very experimental project without a script, sometimes the voices seem to define a one-side view of the world, which is essentially a liberal perspective of life.
The soundtrack displays all the richness of Mexican music. This is something that hits you in a decisive way when you arrive to the end of the movie and you have the chance to see the faces of all the artists who were involved in this project. The diversity is just positively overwhelming.
The movie's soundtrack provides this production with the soul of it. Each song has something to say about one of the many ideas and subjects that were discussed throughout the movie. Whether is Los Tucanes de Tijuana expressing themselves about immigration, Chavela Vargas describing the simple things in life or Lila Downs singing about Mexican spirituality, the soundtrack provides you with a musical explanation about the meaning of being Mexican.
'Hecho En Mexico' - Bottom Line
Hecho En Mexico is a movie that has a strong global appeal. You do not need to be into Mexican music or Mexican culture in order to embrace this documentary. The audio visual tapestry provided by Duncan Bridgeman is capturing regardless of your musical preferences or knowledge about Mexican society.
The movie is also global because of the topics it touches. Hecho En Mexico provides a stimulating discussion about human dilemmas that affect Mexican people in the same way they affect people in China, Australia or Italy.
Besides its global appeal, the movie provides a specific taste of modern 'Mexicanity.' It sort of brings an update on Octavio Paz's Labyrinth of Solitude. Without being his ultimate goal, Duncan Bridgeman has reminded Mexicans about their 'uniqueness' and the need to rescue their country from the turmoil in which it is right now.
If you have any doubts about the role that music plays as a channel capable of describing social structures, you should see Hecho En Mexico. This movie is a long song that will allow you to discover everything that is unique about Mexico and everything that is common among us.
Notable Quotes from and about 'Hecho En Mexico'
- "As soon as I arrived here that's what hit me, that Mexicans are still proud to be Mexican, whatever the media is saying..." - Duncan Bridgeman.
- "The result is far richer than we imagined. We went out to look for hope and came back overwhelmed and euphoric." - Lynn Fainchtein.
- "Mexico is very strong. It is just asleep. I have always thought the giant is asleep. Let it nap and it will come back with brutal strength. There is so much here..." - Legendary singer Chavela Vargas.
- "We are the race of bronze. All standing fast and more than just a football team. We are Mayan, Toltec, Huichol, Aztec, Mariachi, drumming bands, pyramids and strength..." - Urban singer Mu of Banda Baston.
- "They have all the money but not heart at all. I know they have the money but we have the soul" - Ali Gua Gua.
- "Two of the greatest demands American people have of Mexico are workers and drugs and both of them are forbidden. They will have to legalize both sooner or later" - Hector Aguilar Camin.
- "And it turns out richer people are white and poorer people are brown" - Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Mexican actor.
- "Imagination is more important than knowledge." Don Miguel Ruiz.
- "It is the great miracle of Mexico. Even atheist are Guadalupan here. It is a miracle. There is no possible explanation." - Father Atilano Ceballos.