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MAIZE IN TIMES OF WAR

(EL MAÍZ EN TIEMPOS DE GUERRA)

Maize in Times of War (El maíz en tiempos de guerra). Growing “la milpa” is an act of resistance, a profoundly political one. Maize In Times Of War traces the yearly cycle of four Indigenous maize peasants in different regions of México. This film draws the exceptional process of growing maize, the delicacy of selecting seeds and preparing the land, and the tenacity required throughout the whole process until the harvest arrives. Directed by Alberto Cortés.

THE FILMMAKER

A trip to the Country of Reality In his inventions of the City of Mexico, directing some of the most interesting actors of the underground world of literature, (Albertine Sarrazin, Jean Cocteau, José Agustín), he found a City as raw as it gets, in the streets and open spaces, -Amor a la vuelta de la esquina- (Love Around the Corner), within the walls of an enclosed apartment -Ciudad de ciegos- (City of the Blind), and in the relentless corners of the hood of hoods -Tepito vive, barrio- (Tepito lives).

Each story seems to find a way to tell itself.

Other revealing encounters ¿or encountered revelations? have taken place through essential urban musicians: Jaime López, Maldita vecindad y los hijos del quinto patio, Cecilia Toussaint, Santa Sabina, El Tri. A Pioneer in Mexico of the fragmented and speedy aesthetic of music videos, Cortés managed to imprint in images what was floating in the air. It speak volumes of who he is.

And more… the narrative of his feature films, evolves like a musical orchestration; -Corazón del tiempo- (Heart of Time), -Violeta-, Ciudad de ciegos- (City of the Blind). His documentaries; -México, ciudad hip-hop-(Mexico: A Hip-Hop City) and -Tijuana: sonidos del Nortec (Tijuana: The sound of Nortec), happen in the factual place, where the music responds to the vital crossing of its circumstance.

A film… a musical? His collaborations with José Elorza, Descemer Bueno and Kelvis Ochoa have managed a creative process where the tale and the singing go hand in hand, further than any movie score.

A film…erotic? Love and desire play a major part of his movies. The infatuated look of the feminine body, the pleasures of pleasure in an intimate space of the reality that, exposed to subtle transgressions, lights up.

A film… a social statement? From his indigenous documentaries with the Kunkaak, and the O’dham of Sonora to his proactive testimonies within the Zapatista territory (…because our origin is here; …our future will comes next, …we’re the people of maize), or his very peculiar recording of the resistance in San Salvador de Atenco, -La herida se mantiene abierta- (The wound remains open), it’s the society -the people, the village itself- that lead.

The voice of those who do not have one, resounds in his own, grandiose and dignified natural scenarios: The Sonora Sea, The Lacandona Rainforest, The Texcoco Lake.

A film… activism? The towns that Alberto reaches, the social movement that he endorses, the comrades that he harvests: those are the activists, the ones that do what needs to be done, those who will fight for what they believe. He reaches out to them to tell their story.

Borderlines; probably… Alberto Cortés’ films inherits the best of the Mexican Cinema, their truth in the invention and gallantry of its characters. Sometimes he aligns with reality, others, he approaches it.

Written by Hermann Bellinghausen, Co-Writer with Alberto Cortés, Maize in Times of War

HONORS, AWARDS, AND FESTIVALS

2018 – Ariel Nomination Best Long Form Documentary – Mexican Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
2018 – Best Indigenous Documentary – All Voices Against the Silence Film Festival
2018 Human Fest – Festival Internacional de Cine de Derechos Humanos de Valencia
2018 San Diego Latino Film Festival
2018 Festival Semilla UACM
2018 Cine Roxie de San Francisco
2018 FINCA Festival Internacional de cine ambiental
2018 Terra di tutti Film Festival
2018 Festival de cine Watsonville
2018 Mostra Tela Indígena, Brasil
2017 Festival Internacional de Guadalajara
2017 Segundo Festival de Cine de Jardín. Con los pies en la tierra
2017 Festival Internacional de Cine de Mérida y Yucatán
2017 Festival de Cine Latinoamericano de Trieste, Italia
2017 Festival Zanate
2017 – Best Latin American Environmental Documentary – Cinema Without Borders Film Festival

MAIZE IN TIMES OF WAR (EL MAÍZ EN TIEMPOS DE GUERRA)

Catalog # EPF16018 ● ISBN: 978-1-933724-58-4 ● UPC: 6-82086-16018-4 ● NTSC

88 Minutes ● Copyright 2016 ● Tseltal, Ayuujk, Wixárika and Spanish ● Spanish Subtitles and English Subtitles