The Modern Jungle
Mexico • 1h 10m
Directed by Charles Fairbanks and Saul Kak • Documentary • 2017 • 71 minutes
The Modern Jungle is a portrait of globalization filtered through Carmen and Juan, two Zoque people, and how modernity has affected their identity and relation to the indigenous culture. This film documents their struggles and encounters with outside forces: from capitalism and commodity fetish, to the culture of cinema, and the directors of this film. Juan is a Mexican shaman who suffers from a hernia that his incantations cannot treat, and falls under the spell of charlatans who sell him nutritional supplements as medicine. His neighbor, Carmen, lives simply in harmony with the land her martyred husband paid for with his life. Originally set out to make an honest documentary of Zoque culture, directors Charles Fairbanks and Saul Kak fall into a tough position when both Carmen and Juan ask them for money because they are “working” for the film. By hiding nothing of this partly venal relationship, the directors challenge the Western-centered ethnology and cinematic myth of a “pure” native untouched by outside forces.
Up Next in Mexico
Off the Road
Directed by José Permar • Documentary • 2020 • 78 minutes
Each year, the slow-paced lifestyle on Mexico’s largest desert in Baja Peninsula is given a turbo boost by the Baja 1000, the largest off-road motorsport race in the world that takes place crossing the Mexican-US border.
In this modern-d...
Directed by Carlos Reygadas • Drama • With Carlos Reygadas, Natalia López, Phil Burgers • 2018 • 87 minutes
A family lives in the Mexican countryside raising fighting bulls. Esther is in charge of running the ranch, while her husband Juan, a world-renowned poet, raises and selects the beasts. Al...
Directed by Lisa F. Jackson, Sarah Teale • Documentary • 2017 • 83 minutes
A multi-billion dollar American development is poised to engulf a small coastal community in Mexico with a mega hotel/condo complex. But local people are banding together to save their way of life and the delicate ecosyst...