Inspiration Lola González

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. 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.

    Cacaluta in Oaxaca, Mexico, stage of the roadtrip And your mom too
    Cacaluta is located inside a national park and accessing it by boat from the nearby Santa Cruz beach is recommended - image by Javarman for Adobe
  2. 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.

    The Route of the Tequila in Jalisco, state of Mexico in which the film is developed The thin yellow line
    In Jalisco, the Tequila Route invites participants to learn about the history and production of Mexico’s quintessential drink with a route that passes through towns bordering the Tequila Volcano and surrounded by agave fields and distilleries - image by Fernando for Adobe Stock
  3. 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.

    Ernesto and Alberto volunteered at a leprosy hospital in the small town of San Pablo in the Peruvian Amazon
    Ernesto and Alberto volunteered at a leprosy hospital in the small town of San Pablo in the Peruvian Amazon - image by Chris for Adobe Stock
  4. 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.

    The salt flats of Cabo de Gata, one of the stages of the road movie Vivir is easy with closed eyes
    Cape Gata Salt Flats, the road leading to the Arrecife de las Sirenas (in the image) and the Tabernas Desert (used frequently to film westerns) are all can’t-miss locations.