RODRIGO REYES ON 499, FRIDAY THE 13TH - INTERRUPTING HISTORY
** "You appeared one morning from the East, on the beaches of Veracruz. By a strange coincidence, you arrived almost 500 years after crushing the Aztec Empire - a secret miracle had shipwrecked you into the future. What brought you to our time..."
What does Friday the 13th, 500 years commemorating the colonial invasion of a doomed Mexico, and the number 499 have in common.
This August, Friday the 13th, marks the 500 year anniversary of Spain's invasion, carnage and destruction of a doomed Mexico - and actually much of the Western hemisphere back then. And those horrors and the aftermath are the subject of the unconventional Mexican film 499. And directed by Rodrigo Reyes, whose interest in is probing the legacy of that fateful encounter on this anniversary - and hopefully enlightening the Mexican masses historically and ideologically.
The director is on the line from Mexico City to discuss that Friday the 13th dubious anniversary this month - and his stunning film mixing drama and documentary, and laced with poetic imaginative historical storytelling. With Reyes concluding that 'we can interrupt history, and we can invent it - I hope audiences can feel that when they watch my film.'
And as seen through the eyes of the confounded, nameless military invader, played by Eduardo San Juan, finding himself dazed on the beaches of Veracruz, inexplicably washed ashore today as an ironic undocumented immigrant among the masses. And encountering real people, not actors, caught in the resulting historical ramifications of violence, poverty, misery and racism in the present time - and the indigenous 'wandering hungry and barefoot, he does not know how to write on the pages of his soul - all he knows are coal ovens...'