03 · 26 · 19

The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) is going to screen a cycle dedicated to Julio Bracho

The Berkeley Museum of Art and the Cinematographic Archive of the Pacific (BAMPFA) will screen from June 7 to July 18, 2019 the cycle Julio Bracho and Mexican Cinema’s Golden Age. The program was curated by Morelia International Film Festival (FICM) as part of a retrospective dedicated to Bracho, with the support of the Cineteca Nacional, Filmoteca UNAM and Fundación Televisa, and formed a part of the festival’s 14th edition in 2016 and was screened at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in 2017.

Crepúsculo de Julio Bracho, 1945

Twilight (1945, dir. Julio Bracho)

The program that shows the cinematographic range of Bracho includes his first film Those Were the Days, Señor Don Simón! (1941), the melodrama Story of a Great Love (1942), the noir films Another Dawn (1943) and Twilight (1945), the social drama Rosenda (1948) and The Shadow of the Tyrant (1960), a film that was censored for thirty years.

According to a text published by the BAMPFA, “Julio Bracho (1909–1978) was one of the most commercially successful—and stylistically innovative—craftsmen of Mexican cinema’s midcentury golden age. Spanning styles and genres from raucous music-hall comedy to tough urban noir, sweeping historical tearjerker to daring political thriller, this eye-opening six-film tribute offers up a tantalizing sampling of Bracho’s range and artistry in new digital restorations. Just as important, it shines a spotlight on the many talents and achievements of the Mexican film industry of the 1940s, from luminous stars such as Arturo de Córdova, Jorge Negrete, and Gloria Marín to cinematographers like Gabriel Figueroa and Alex Phillips“.

Julio Bracho was born in Durango, in the state of Durango, on July 17th 1909. He began his artistic career in the 1930s working as a playwright in the theater, before making Those Were the Days, Señor Don Simón! , whose box-office success paved the way for the director. He went on to make Story of a Great Love and The Virgin who forged a homeland in 1942, but it was with Another Dawn in 1943 that the director consolidated his distinctive style, confirming him as an auteur. In his following film Twilight, (1945) Bracho became one of the most eponymous directors of Mexico´s Golden Age, later reaching the climax of his career with Rosenda (1948), widely regarded as his masterpiece. In 1960 he adapted The Shadow of the Tyrant, a master work of Mexican cinema. Bracho died on the April 26th, 1978 in Mexico City. His films are still regarded as some of the most important in the history of Mexican and world cinema.