Mexico, 2012, 81'
Emilio Altuna / Carlo Federico Rossini / Diego Enrique Oso
Before the Law
“I love my country. I will do whatever it takes to have a better homeland for my sons and my grandsons. This is my job: to have a better Mexico.”
Set in northern Mexico, where the murder of municipal mayors is common practice in the fight to control territories by the drug cartels, The Mayor puts forth one of the most memorable characters of this year’s program: Mauricio Fernández Garza, Mayor of San Pedro Garza Garcia, the richest and (thinks to him) safest municipality in Latin America. For most of the film, the mayor talks straight into the camera, enjoying his voice and detailing various moments of his life in the service of the citizens of Garza Garcia: this one time he announced a death in a press conference even before the body was being found by the police; that other time one of his many enemies had been found dead in the street – in both cases, things “just happened”. No clear explanations are provided, but the mayor’s house, an art collection cum military arsenal, can tell enough about the generous slippages between responsibility, authority and privilege on the part of an official who gradually emerges as having gone way beyond the limits of his mandate. In a country plagued by bloodthirsty confrontations motivated by strong economic interests, who could blame the Mayor for taking the law in his own hands? How far would you go to protect your city?
12 March, 20:00, Cinemateca Eforie
16 March, 20:00, Cinema Union
Watch Docs International Human Rights in Film Festival, Warsaw, Poland, 2012