The grim reality behind  ‘Ayotzinapa, el paso de la tortuga’

Enrique García Meza, director of ‘Ayotzinapa, the passage of the turtle’ of Tiempo de Historia

10/21/2018.- This Sunday 21 Oct., Mexican director Enrique García Meza presented his documentary feature Ayotzinapa, el paso de la tortuga in the Valladolid International Film Festival. The film, which  screened in competition within the Time of History fest section, tells the story of the enforced disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa. The film foregrounds the sorrow of fellow students, parents and other people affected by the events and reminds us of the intimate bond that we all share and of the importance of solidarity.

During the Q&A that followed the screening  Enrique García Meza said that «we have been successful at the Guadalajara or Monterrey festivals, but above all they contact me from schools and universities in the area, because they want me to bring over the documentary. I get invitations from them and they are really eager to have a conversation on what happened». Indeed, those events and the spirit that was born in their wake are very much alive in today’s México.

When a member of the audience thanked García Meza for some of the film’s opening shots featuring the indigenous people living in the area, the filmmaker replied: «That’s what we were looking for. We have entirely different worldviews and we wanted to make that point; ultimately what we outsiders do is merely survive, whereas they, who have no access to so many things, including money (they call it “carne”: meat), truly live their lives. Thence the special connection with Mother Nature that is highlighted in the opening scenes».

When asked whether he saw any reason for hope regarding this situation, he answered that «things can indeed change,… but not with this government. What scared me most as I was making this documentary was my realisation of the similarities between Mexico  and  a narco-state: the police forces are corrupt, the government is corrupt and impunity is huge».

The director likewise thanked the international support, no matter where it came from: «When we see a photograph with a German or an Italian flag and the words ‘Ayotzinapa/Mexico: We Support You’, or any mention of the 43 students, the feeling of being accompanied (even if there are only two people in the picture) multiples by 100 or 1,000».

Posted in 63rd Seminci.