Media Type: Film

Year: 1977

Who wrote / made it : Marcela Fernández Violante

Plot summary: Cananea is set in a clearly defined historical moment. The final titles tell us that four years and five months after the events portrayed in the film the Revolution begins. The film represents the experiences which moulded the anarchist, Esteban Baca Calderón’s (Carlos Bracho) political beliefs. The character is loosely based on Ricardo Flores Magón, one of the intellectual forces behind the Mexican Revolution. The central axis of the plot are the tensions between Baca Calderón and his attempts to lead the workers into a strike against the business interests of the US citizen, Colonel William Greene (Steve Wilensky), who, although he has an understanding of and some sympathy for Mexicans, is happy to exploit them for his enrichment. The mining company he establishes with the help of rich friends and the full support of the government of Porfirio Díaz makes him a wealthy man at the cost of the Mexican workers’ health and welfare.

Fernández Violante creates a nuanced, complicated and intelligent portrait of the conflict between these two men and how both exploit the workers for their own ends.

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