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by Carlos Aguilar
Alonso Ruizpalacios’ two features to date are both about Mexico City’s recent past. The writer-director first gained international visibility with 2014’s Güeros, a black-and-white road trip movie set in the 1990s using the protests at the National Autonomous University of Mexico as backdrop for an intimate coming-of-age plot. For his sophomore venture, Museo, Ruizpalacios enlisted major star Gael García Bernal and one of Güeros’ cast members, Leonardo Ortizgris, to address a larger than life, yet based on real life, crime story. 1985 was a chaotic year for Mexico City, aside from the devastation left in the wake of a massive earthquake in September; the cultural heritage of an entire nation was endangered when two young men from the suburb of Satélite expertly robbed the National Museum of Anthropology. Nearly 150 invaluable pieces were stolen, and though they were later returned and the culprits apprehended, the philosophical implications of their actions is what the filmmaker gravitated towards. Was this a subversive act of anti-system patriotism, an absurd feat carried out by two bored losers, or maybe a combination of both? Initially believed to be the work of master thieves tied to a global black market, the incident raised questions about the security protocols safeguarding these artifacts, but also their value, their historical significance, and how we perceive these. Lines of people were seen at the Museum of Anthropology in the aftermath of the robbery eager to see the empty cases. In its absence, the art had earned new importance.
Ruizpalacios - Perpetrators - Class - Kids - Students
Cleverly, Ruizpalacios reinvents the two perpetrators, upper-middle class kids and former veterinary students, and equips them with confused ideals, insecurities, and a friendship that’s partly toxic and occasionally tender. Not only is the film a conversation between the past and its current repercussions, but also between two people united by...
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