Things That Matter

21 Reasons Why You Simply Must Watch Alfonso Cuaron’s Oscar-Winning ‘Roma’

“Roma” has taken the film world by storm. Most critics have already begun to include it in favorite film lists. Not just for this year but for ones that include works from the past 20 years as well. During a screening of the film at the 56th New York Film Festival, Mexican director Guillermo del Toro proclaimed it as one of his five favorite films of all time. Del Toro even made time to go to the Oscars, despite being sick, to hand Alfonso Cuarón his Oscar for Best Actor for “Roma.”

Here is some of what you can expect from the Oscar-winning film.

It fittingly deals with a taboo theme in Mexican society: race.

Credit: Roma / Netflix

There are amazing human moments in the Netflix flick. The theme of race runs throughout “Roma.” Like many Latin American countries, Mexico is a country that’s highly defined by race. In colonial times, the country was ruled by the caste system and today Mexican society continues to operate under similar conditions.

It deals with a dark and overlooked period in Mexican history.

Credit: Roma / Netflix

The period that “Roma” portrays is a tense calm. Three years after the 1968 Tlatelolco Massacre and after the Olympic Games (which happened just a few weeks after the massacre), Mexico seemed to be in a historical juncture in which progress was possible. The ‘68 events had happened, and the government had swept it under the rug. There was a new president, who was one of the politicians responsible for the massacre. The presidency went from Gustavo Díaz Ordaz to Luis Echeverría, who was infamous for state repression. In the middle of the Cold War, there was a single-party system in Mexico that Nobel Prize-winner Mario Vargas Llosa, the Peruvian novelist, called the “perfect dictatorship”. It was covered with democratic paint but at its core, it was a repressive state, not only in the city with student movements but also in rural areas.

Yalitzia Aparicio’s breathtaking performance has been on everyone’s mind since the film was released.

Credit: Roma / Netflix

Move over Merryl Streep. Yalitzia Aparicio is totally amazing in her first role, and the award season, while disappointing at the Oscars, was so kind to her.

Libo, Cuarón’s former nanny who is in her 90’s, is one of Cuarón’s biggest inspirations.

Credit: Roma / Netflix

The director wrote the script to honor Libo, an amazing tiny yet strong woman who held his family together in times of confusion and chaos. This picture is just too much.

It acknowledged the crucial role of domestic workers in family dynamics, especially in affluent communities.

Credit: Roma / Netflix

Mexico City’s society functions because of domestic workers, who often take the role of main caregivers for children. This is shown in “Roma” in a candid, loving way.

It includes dialogue in indigenous languages, which is major right now.

Credit: Roma / Netflix

Contrary to movies who are only spoken in Spanish or English, “Roma” stays true to its characters by having dialogue in Mixtec, the language spoken in some regions of Oaxaca.

It is a poignant look at the strength of Mexican mothers.

Credit: Roma / Netflix

Any Latino knows that women are the cornerstone of families. Cuarón shows how crucial the role of mothers and abuelitas is in the household, and how they face tribulations with strength and wisdom.

It is a one-man-show and Cuarón got a lot of recognition at the 91st Academy Awards.

Credit: Roma / Netflix

It is rare to watch a movie in which the director takes on many roles. Cuarón wrote, produced, shot, directed and edited this one and it is a real clavado en su mente.

It celebrates our similarities, rather than our differences, as human beings and shows the power of humanity.

Credit: Roma / Netflix

On paper, there are few similarities between the wealthy and the struggling characters, but they share what matters the most: their basic humanity.

Cuarón has captured the true essence of Mexico City.

Credit: Roma / Netflix

If anyone grew up or has visited Mexico City will recognize the sights, sounds and even indications of smells that populate this modern day masterpiece. From the tamale carts to the knife sharpener it is just amazing.

It offers some of the most stunning images in recent cinema and that’s why it won the Oscar for Best Cinematography.

Credit: Roma / Netflix

Cuarón delves not only into his own personal memory as a very privileged Mexican but also into cinematic memory. There are winks to Italian neo-realism. There’s a very fond and amazing wink to Federico Fellini’s “8 ½(Otto o mezzo).” There’s a fantastic scene which deals with politics and state repression that is obviously an echo of The Battle of Algiers, a movie that Cuarón himself referenced in his other great work “Children of Men.”

It is ethnically diverse, showing what real Mexico looks like when you widen the lens of representation.

Credit: Roma / Netflix

Most Mexican films that travel to world festivals or make it big in the box office only show white Mexicans that look like models. Not “Roma.” It is an ethnically diverse movie representing the country it depicts.

It features wrestler Latin Lover.

Credit: Roma / Netflix

There are plenty of pop culture references to 1970s Mexico, but also an appearance by the popular wrestler Latin Lover. Lucha libre fans will love this.

It demonstrates how awful Western standards of beauty truly are for so many people.

Credit: Roma / Netflix

Aparicio is beautiful and the director shot her features in a way that prove this. It’s a reminder of how inaccurate beauty standards are, how non-inclusive the Western gaze can be. The fact that Aparicio has been ridiculed in social media because she is indigenous proves just how severe this problem continues to be.

It criticizes policies that lead to extreme poverty in underprivleged communities.

Credit: Roma / Netflix

People came from the countryside because the promises of the Mexican Revolution were not fulfilled for indigenous and rural populations. They all went to the city and these cinturones de miseria (belts of misery) were created around Mexico City. So, this movie is about that as well along with the historical memory of early 1970s Mexico.

It is the most chilango movie made, like, ever.

Credit: Roma / Netflix

What makes this film special is that Alfonso Cuarón took a deep dive into his own personal memory as a chilango– a white, middle-class Mexican from Mexico City, which is quite important because racial politics are extremely important in this film and the country as a whole.

Marriage is complicated and sometimes beyond any logic.

Credit: Roma. Netflix.

At the center of Roma’s story is a marital breakup. It is a simple, yet complicated situation that the director presents in a direct, non-melodramatic way. We very seldom see this approach in Mexican cinema, which is so influenced by telenovelas.

That ocean scene no manches, wow!

Credit: Roma / Netflix

We don’t want to spoil the movie but there is a crucial scene that happens among the waves and it is just breathtakingly gorgeous. So tense, so amazing. A moment that will live forever in film history.

Men are inconsequential in the film and it is so refreshing to see women at the center of the story.

Credit: Roma / Netflix

The movie is about women, and contrary to most mainstream stories men are just secondary characters. Hollywood should learn from this.

It offers some truly surreal moments.

Credit: Roma. Netflix.

Andre Breton, the father of the Surrealist Movement, once said that Mexico is surreal by nature. This is captured by this film, which offers some weird moments like this one, were a group of white Mexicans shoot guns in the woods just for fun.

All you need is love.

Credit: Roma / Netflix

Love is the force that is ever so present in “Roma.” The film shows us that any obstacle can be belittled if we offer each other help and comfort.

There’s A New Urban Line Of Taco Gear And This One’s Actually Wearable

Entertainment

There’s A New Urban Line Of Taco Gear And This One’s Actually Wearable

No matter your preference, how you like them, how you eat them, tacos are a way of life. They represent where we’re from and to be honest, they are not going anywhere — they will remain part of our life.

Gerald Flores understands the taco goes beyond just a dish, it’s a lifestyle. In 2014, the Corpus Christi native was trying to figure out what to wear, when an idea went off in his head.

“Like many Latinos, tacos are a huge part of my life. They represent my culture and so much more. Back in 2014, I was looking for a taco shirt for myself and I couldn’t find one that I would want to wear, so I decided to design my own,” said the taco lover. “That’s how Taco Gear® was born and it’s been a crazy and fun journey ever since.”

mitú is excited to partner up with Taco Gear® in our mitú mercado where you’ll find a wide assortment of Taco Gear® products.

We are featuring some of Taco Gear’s® most popular t-shirts, sweatshirts and trendy bucket hats.

If you’re a taco lover you know that when someone offers you a taco, you just eat it and that’s exactly what this Taco. Just Eat It. Longsleeve tee says.

mitú x Taco Gear®

This tee takes a spin on a popular brand and makes it our own. You can shop this tee (that’s already making me hungry) on our site available in a unisex fit for only $29.99.

If tacos are life to you, say it with this bomber jacket.

mitú x Taco Gear®

This classic bomber jacket will keep you warm during those nights you’re waiting for your tacos at your favorite taco truck. This jacket is such a favorite, it’s sure to sell out, so grab yours for $49.99 before it sells out.

When fellow intellectuals ask what your favorite work of art is, you can let them know with this Taco Lisa Tee.

mitú x Taco Gear®

Art connoisseurs will not know what hit them when you show them this Taco Lisa Tee now available in our store in different colors for $24.99.

True taco lovers ain’t got no type. Let people know you’re not shallow with this Taco Type Tee.

mitú x Taco Gear®

We don’t discriminate against any kind of taco and we love showing our love with this shirt that lists just a few of our favorite tacos. This comfy tee comes in different colors and is only $24.99.

When you and bae are hungry and can’t decide where to go for dinner (or breakfast or lunch), settle it with this Back To The Taquería Tee.

mitú x Taco Gear®

Don’t know what to eat? Don’t know where to hang out? Don’t know what to “cook” for your family potluck? Back to the taquería it is. This tee comes in three colors and sells for $24.99.

And when you walk up to the taquería register they’ll know exactly what you want as soon as they look at you with this trendy Fresh Tacos bucket hat.

mitú x Taco Gear®

At the taquería is where we spend most of our days, so represent with this bucket hat available in our shop for just $22.99. It’s perfect to shield your face from that taquería steam 😉.

A founding father once said, “give me liberty or give me death,” and in 2019 we like to apply our lives to that saying and this one: *ehem* Give me tacos or give me death.

mitú x Taco Gear®

Because what even is life without tacos? Stop — we don’t want to know. Shop this philosophical taco tee in our shop for just $24.99.

Mexico’s Newest Growing Cartel Ambushed Mexican Police Killing 14 And Injuring 9

Things That Matter

Mexico’s Newest Growing Cartel Ambushed Mexican Police Killing 14 And Injuring 9

lopezobrador / Instagram

Minutes after Mexico’s President Lopez Obrador told reporters that his new approach to curb cartel violence is working, Mexico’s fast-growing threat, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), killed 14 police officers and set their cars on fire during a deadly ambush. The police convoy was passing through El Aguaje, a small town in the state of Michoacan, to serve a warrant when 20 armed vehicles ambushed the officers. Fourteen officers were declared dead and another nine were injured.

“You can’t fight fire with fire. You can’t fight violence with violence … you have to fight evil by doing good.” Obrador said at a news conference on Monday morning. While Obrador, a year into his term, continued to speak about how his new policy is affecting change, police officers were calling for backup. “I’m dying,” one officer barely blurted on his radio, according to audio recordings of police scanners at the time.

As first responders arrived on the scene, they found handwritten messages, signed “CJNG.”

Credit: @AlertaGDL / Twitter

Families of the victims are angry that their loved ones weren’t more heavily armed to defend themselves against the thirty gunmen who attacked the police convoy from behind. One day after the attack, a memorial service became a town hall of sorts. Grieving family members shouted at Michoacán Governor Silvano Aureoles, “Like sheep to the slaughter!” 

Five families refused to allow the coffins of their loved ones to be present in the company of those they feel were responsible for the deaths: the officials who didn’t adequately arm the police to defend themselves. 

Obrador’s strategy to end cartel violence is two-fold: end corruption and provide resources to poverty-stricken regions.

Credit: lopezobrador / Instagram

“We are going to continue with our strategy,” López Obrador later said. “For us it is very important for there to be well-being, that peace with justice can be achieved … and also avoiding that authorities mix with crime.” Experts think Obrador’s strategy is smart for long-term success in stabilizing Mexico. Still, in the short-term, murders have only increased in Mexico. Last year, a record number of 29,000 murders were recorded, and 2019 may just break that record.

Falko Ernst, a Mexican analyst for the International Crisis Group, says Michoacán will continue to be “deep narco-war territory” until the state develops a strategy to de-signify the land.

Credit: @falko_ernst / Twitter

In a Twitter thread, Ernst recalled the decades-long history of cartel conflict in a small, rural village called El Aguaje. It “sits on a key overland road connecting the Hot Land region with the Sierra Madre, and was once a stronghold of the Milenio Cartel, big-time coke runners in the ’90s/early 2000s,” Ernst tweeted. At the time, a young Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, who would later become “El Mencho” and the boss of CJNG, was a member of the Milenio cartel. 

Ernst was there in 2011 when Milenio drug lords were dragged out of their mansions and executed. “La Familia” then took over the town, until it split into two conflicting gangs. That’s when El Mencho broke away to form the Jalisco (or CJNG) cartel.

Now, El Mencho, personally ousted by La Familia, is warring for their territory, leaving civilians in the crossfire.

Credit: lopezobrador / Instagram

El Mencho lived in the U.S. at one point, without papers, and served three years in prison for selling drugs stateside. As soon as he was released in 1997, he was deported to Mexico, where he went on to serve on the Jalisco state police force. For some reason, he left the force to join the Milenio cartel. El Mencho was born just a few miles away from El Aguaje. Now, he’s leading CJNG to reclaim what they think belongs to them–la puebla del Aguaje. 

The DEA has dubbed El Mencho one of their “most wanted,” and has offered a $10 million bounty for his arrest.

“El Chapo was violent, but El Mencho has taken it to a new level,” the lead DEA agent told Univision.

Credit: @KonnieMoments1 / Twitter

“Decapitations, dissolving bodies in acid, public executions, ripping out the heart, killing women and children, bombings against people. It happens almost every day,” DEA agent Kyle Mori told Univision. “El Chapo was violent, but El Mencho has taken it to a new level.” 

In August, CJNG hung nine bodies from a bridge in Uruapan, Michoacán, and hung up a large banner that read, “Lovely people. Carry on with your day.” Ten other bodies were dumped on the road nearby.

READ: Mexico Is Reeling After A Massive Gun Battle Over The Capture Of El Chapo’s Son