Arriba! ¡Viva! Film Festival to celebrate Mexican cinema at Manchester HOME

Hispanic cinema will be celebrated as part of the second installment of Manchester’s annual ¡Viva! film festival, which will commence at the city’s HOME entertainment venue tomorrow. 

The event, taking place between Thursday June 18 – Monday June 22, will focus on new Mexican cinema presented in partnership with IMCINE and the British Council.

Six films will be screened, including two UK premieres, alongside two post-show Q&A talks, a Spanish-language adult study workshop and an introductory talk.   

Rachel Hayward, Film Programme Manager at HOME, said: “The ¡Viva!  programme goes from strength to strength.

“It’s such a fabulous showcase and it will only grow more and also become a cross-arts event as befitting HOME’s multi-discipline status.”   

The programme of events are available to view below: –

Thursday June 18, 19:30 and Saturday June 20, 18:00  
En El Último Trago (One for the Road)  
Director: Jack Zagha Kababie / MX 2014 / 91mins  
Starring: Luis Bayardo, Eduardo Manzano, José Carlos Ruiz, Pedro Weber ‘Chatanuga’ 

This highly enjoyable road trip buddy film embroils its octogenarian travellers in a series of comic misadventures as they make their way through rural Mexico, at a  suitably sedate pace, proving the old adage that slow and steady wins the race.

Struggling with the modern world, and fuelled by a little tequila, the old timers find there’s still plenty of adventures to be had in your twilight years, even if more frequent bathroom stops are required!  

Event: Jack Zagha Kababie will present his film on the Opening Night, and for a Q&A following the screening on Sat 20 June.  

Friday June 19, 18:30 and Monday June 22, 20:30 
Los Bañistas (Open Cage)  
Director: Max Zunino / MX 2014 / 83 mins  
Starring: Juan Carlos Colombo, Sofía Espinosa, Harold Torres, Susana Salazar, Armando Espitia

This debut feature film is an entertaining tale of intergenerational conflict and solidarity. The action takes place against the backdrop of Mexico City in economic crisis, where the streets are clogged with protestors living in makeshift camps, and both the old and young residents of one apartment block are struggling to stay afloat. 

Reluctantly, a rebellious young student named Flavia and her grumpy old neighbour, Martin, navigate their way through a tetchy relationship of mutual reliance, leading to some wonderful odd-couple comedy and unexpected confrontations, culminating in a genuinely touching denouement.

Friday June 19, 20:40 and Saturday June 20, 16:00  
Hilda (CTBA)  
Director: Andrés Clariond Rangel / MX 2014 / 88 mins  
Starring: Verónica Langer, Adriana Paz, Fernando Becerril, David Gaitán, Eduardo Mendizábal, Anna Cetti  

Writer-director Clariond Rangel’s debut feature is a masterful study of the corrosive effect of dysfunctional race, class and gender relations, with the mounting tension periodically released by delicious moments of black comedy.  

Award-winning actress Langer plays a 63-year-old lonely housewife ignored by her wealthy husband and alienated by their social milieu. After hiring a new maid, Hilda, she begins remembering her revolutionary past and questions her pampered but empty present. Meanwhile, her dependency on Hilda grows into an uncomfortable obsession as she becomes gradually more unhinged.  

Saturday June 20, 20:30 and Sunday June 21, 18:20  
Paraíso (Paradise)  
Director: Mariana Chenillo / MX 2013 / 105 mins  
Starring: Andrés Almeida, Daniela Rincón, Camila Selser, Beatriz Moreno, José Sefami

Following her award-winning debut Cinco días sin Nora, Chenillo returns with a delightful comedy drama about the trials and tribulations of moving to the big city. When overweight childhood sweethearts Carmen and Alfredo leave Ciudad Satélite for a promotion in the capital, they soon lose their blissful satisfaction with themselves and each other.

Suddenly self-improvement is the name of the game, and the divisive pressure threatens to jeopardise their relationship. With excellent comic timing, Chenillo masterfully skewers the metropolitan obsession with body image, and resolutely refuses to believe that weight loss equals happiness.   

Sunday June 21, 16:00  
Seguir Viviendo (Go On Living)  
Director: Alejandra Sánchez / MX 2014 / 81 mins  
Starring: Nora Huerta, Jade García, Kaleb García, Tito Vasconcelos, Moisés Arizmendi

Writer-director Sánchez’s debut feature is a fascinating fusion between fiction and reality, featuring the real siblings upon whom this moving story is based. Facing a death threat after their activist grandmother has been shot, brother and sister Jade and Kaleb flee Juarez with Martha, a journalist who has lost her young son in a car accident.

As the road trip progresses these two parallel stories of loss and trauma are gradually revealed and developed through an interesting combination of fact, fiction and flashbacks, ultimately leaving you with an uplifting sense of hope for the future in spite of the tragic past.  

Event: We are pleased to welcome Alejandra Sánchez for a Q&A following the screening on Sun 21 June.  

Monday June 22, 18:20 
Güeros (CTBA)  
Director: Alonso Ruizpalacios / MX 2014 / 106 mins  
Tenoch Huerta, Sebastián Aguirre, Ilse Salas, Leonardo Ortizgris  

This award-winning debut feature is a poetic and gently comic piece of cinema that pays homage to the Nouvelle Vague, in a uniquely Mexican setting. When misbehaving teenager Tomás is sent to live with his brother in Mexico City, he finds Federico in a state of lethargy with the university locked down by student protests.

As the narrative loosely weaves around their mission to find an ageing former rock star, the beautiful black and white cinematography, the enchanting soundtrack and the often erratic conversations all create a perfect celebration of the medium of cinema itself. 

The third and final section of the ¡Viva! Festival takes place between Thursday November 5 – Monday November 9, with the focus on New Spanish Cinema.  

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