Ibero-American film, on the road
After last year’s success, the sixth edition of the Platino Awards will return to the Gran Tlachco Theatre in Xcaret, Mexico, where the awards – a benchmark in the Ibero-American film industry – will be handed out next 12 May.
Inspired by this major event, we run down four of the best-loved Ibero-American road trip movies:
1 Journey to paradise in Oaxaca
The cast of the Mexican film Y Tu Mamá También (2001), by Alfonso Cuarón, stars Spanish actor Maribel Verdú and Mexican actors Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna. Tenoch and Julio are two friends who go on holiday and meet Luisa. They make up a story about getting ready to take a trip from Mexico City to a glorious beach in the state of Oaxaca called “Boca del Cielo” (“Mouth of Heaven”). Luisa unexpectedly ends up joining this improvised road trip through Oaxaca’s beaches, which culminates at the beach of their dreams, known in real life as Cacaluta, in Bahías de Huatulco.
2 A vindication of Mexican workers
Although not purely a road movie, The Thin Yellow Line (2015) tells the story of five men hired to paint the yellow lines on the road linking San Jacinto and San Carlos, two towns in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. This film debut by Celso García (co-produced with Guillermo del Toro) shows the harsh reality of workers’ jobs and the labour situation currently experienced by Mexicans. These workers, all strangers to each other, share stories and experiences in a dilapidated pickup truck over 15 days and 200 kilometres that make them change the way they see and understand life.
3 Che’s road trip on La Poderosa
The Motorcycle Diaries (2004) details the encounters with social inequalities and injustices that would mark the lives of the young Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara and Alberto Granado. Guevara planned to make the trip from Buenos Aires to Venezuela on his motorcycle in four months, but the journey’s 12,425 kilometres took them six and a half years. They crossed La Pampa surrounded by gauchos and entered Patagonia, heading towards the Andes. They arrived in Chile, visiting Temuco, Valparaiso and the Atacama Desert. They entered Peru, crossing Ollantaytambo, Machu Picchu and the Peruvian Amazon. After stopping off in Caracas, they separated and Ernesto – who would soon become the revolutionary leader known as “el Ché” – returned to Buenos Aires.
It was La Poderosa (“The Powerful One”), as he called his motorcycle, that inspired his youngest son to start a travel agency that offers tours of Cuba on Harley Davidsons.
4 Road movie, Spanish style
David Trueba wrote and directed Living Is Easy with Eyes Closed (2013), which earned him a Goya in each of the two categories. The film won four more Goyas, including Best New Actress for Natalia de Molina, Best Actor for Javier Cámara and Best Original Soundtrack for Pat Metheny, but the Beatles and the landscape of Almería should also be included in this list of wins. Cámara plays an English teacher who sets off on a road trip to Almería in 1966 in search of John Lennon, who was there filming How I Won the War. On the way, he is joined by two young people who have run away from their respective families. It’s a three-way getaway along the spectacular Cape Gata.