Friday, August 24, 2007

Movie review - Super Amigos

The Vancouver Queer Film Festival is on, and I went to see Super Amigos with my good friend J, who bought tickets for this show. Super Amigos is a Canadian-Mexican co-production directed by Arturo Perez-Torres, and produced by

From the website, we learn that:
Super Amigos is a feature-length documentary that follows 5 modern-day superheroes in Mexico City as they fight for social justice and human rights.

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, although I can understand if Canadians (or any other foreigner) would have a hard time understanding a few parts. In the director's effort to intertwine each superhero's history, sometimes pieces of the plot could have been missed.

The sub-titles were definitely spot-on, except for very, very few English-language grammar errors. That's actually something the translators should be congratulated for. Particularly because they were able to capture the meaning of many Mexican phrases that nobody would have understood if a traditional translator had done the job.

These human, non-super-powered individuals are wrestlers by night and social justice seekers by day. That's what makes them so unique. I bumped into another colleague at the movie (which was very nice because we had a chance to talk about the movie for a bit). I was making a comment about the fact that Super Barrio has been studied as a phenomenon of collective identity building. Every Mexican who is in need of justice is Super Barrio. Because his face is masked, he can be anyone. He can survive for generations! This is actually an excellent topic for social movement theory research (collective identity and framing theory, as well as resource mobilization).

So these are the five super-heroes:
  • Super Animal - Protecting animal rights and fighting against bull-fighting.
  • Ecologista Universal - Protecting the environment and fighting against natural christmas trees.
  • Super Gay - Protecting queer rights and fighting homophobia, in order to have a national Pride Day Parade.
  • Fray Tormenta - Protecting homeless children, this is a priest-turned-wrestler.
  • Super Barrio - Protecting the right to a decent livelihood, and fighting against illegal evictions.
I would like to believe that in Vancouver we wouldn't need these superheroes, but I would think that maybe Super Barrio and Fray Tormenta should pay us a visit. We certainly could be doing better in regards to homelessness and illegal evictions.

You can watch the trailer below (courtesy of YouTube)

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