In 1968, a group of University of Puebla employees on a mountain hiking trip made an overnight stay in the small Mexican village of San Miguel Canoa. The journey would become a nightmare, as they were mistaken for communist agitators--and a local priest rabble-roused the townsfolk into a lynching frenzy. Director Felipe Cazals’ disturbing account of a true-life tragedy stars Arturo Alegro, Sergio Calderón, Enrique Lucero, and Jaime Garza. 115 min. Standard; Soundtrack: Spanish Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English; featurettes; theatrical trailer. In Spanish with English subtitles
One of Mexico's most highly regarded works of political cinema for the audaciousness of it's attack on the Catholic Church, Canoa: A Shameful Memory reimagines a real-life massacre that occurred in 1968, eight years before the film's release, when a group of urban university employees on a hiking trip were viciously attacked by residents of the isolated village of San Miguel de Canoa, who mistook them for communist revolutionaries. Intercutting depictions of the days in the workers' lives leading up to their journey and footage from a fictional documentary about the village and the autocratic priest who governs it with the scenes of the atrocity itself, director Felipe Cazals (Las inocentes) creates a terrifying sense of menace, capped by a gruesome denouement. Adopting a gritty newsreel style, Canoa is a daring historical document and a visceral expression of horror.