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Screening of The Strong Arm and book launch for Cine, política y censura en la era del milagro mexicano

In the fifteenth edition of the Morelia International Film Festival (FICM), as part of the Made in Michoacán section, the Mexican film The Strong Arm (1958, dir. Giovanni Korporaal) was shown, which was released a decade after its filming due to the political censorship at the time.

The story portrays Agileo, a government employee, who builds a path in a village. At first, the villagers despise him, but a letter from the government makes them believe that he is an influential person and they begin to treat him well. The chief lets him marry his daughter and when he dies, he inherits his position. After years of abusing power, Agileo dies and the government's letter, which was nothing more than an order of dismissal for incompetence, is found among his belongings.

Before the show, the book Cine, política y censura en la era del milagro mexicano was launched. Daniela Michel, director of FICM, welcomed the director of the Cineteca National, Alejandro Pelayo; Luis Tovar, film critic; and Eduardo de la Vega, author of the book, to discuss it.

Eduardo de La Vega.

Eduardo de la Vega also called on young filmmakers, who have the responsibility to defend freedom of expression in the seventh art. "Although the book is directed towards the history of cinema, it is important to tell young people that maybe we already won this battle, since there is no supervision as limited as it was then, but there will always be the pressure of people looking to keep a movie from getting to the screen. Our mission will be to be demanding because we are not the infants that the authorities still think we are," said de la Vega.

Alejandro Pelayo, director of the Cineteca Nacional, said that the process of restoration of the film took more than a year and a half because it was done frame by frame. "From 2012 on, the Cineteca was equipped with high-quality equipment to digitize films (...) We were fortunate to have the negative and we were able to achieve a great quality."

Luis Tovar, a film critic and novelist, acknowledged the work of FICM and the Cineteca National for promoting and rescuing projects such as The Strong Arm, through the book and the restoration of the film. "It is a merit to rescue movies like this, it is a happy coincidence that a book like this can be presented here," he added.

The book Cine, política y censura en la era del milagro mexicano will go on sale next month and will be available in Educal libraries.