The second film and debate cycle programed by the neighbors began on April 13. The guests were Isabel Muñoz and Gibrán Ramírez Portela (both filmmakers), who chose four contemporary Mexican films related to stories of common people who have to change the way they live in their daily context, which in turn makes them rethink the way they live. With this notion as a premise they programmed the cycle: “Héroe común: reflexiones cinematográficas en torno a la vida cotidiana” (“Common Hero: Film Reflections on Everyday Life”).
Isabel and Gibrán invited the directors of each of the movies to be shown to talk to the audience and to collectively think about the importance for a community to build an awareness of the transcendence, impact, and consequences of each individual’s daily actions, both on a personal and on a collective level.
The first film was “Distancias cortas” (“Short Distances”). Alejandro Guzmán and Itzel Lara, director and screenwriter of the film, met with a group of thirty-fove neighbors to discuss the film extensively. Among the topics discussed were the value of the neighbors’ experiences as a way to generate empathy and solidarity with the problems of the others; some neighbors told their own stories, others showed interest in knowing what motivated the filmmakers, and what was implied in the casting process and choice of locations. The filmmakers and the audience concluded that the importance of narrating everyday stories lies in the fact that it is a way to identify, integrate, and respect the other’s life style.
In the second program of the “Héroe común: reflexiones cinematográficas en torno a la vida cotidiana” (“Common Hero: Film Reflections on Everyday Life”) cycle, Alejandro Gerber, director and screenwriter of “Viento aparte” (“Different Wind”), discussed with the audience the many questions and concerns the film detonated. Among the topics discussed were the wealth but also the problems of Mexico’s cultural and social diversity, discrimination and low impact violence increasingly integrated into everyday life, as well as infancy and the transition to adulthood in the context of the film. The audience also expressed their need to have more places to see contemporary Mexican films and discussed the restrictions imposed by the chains of commercial movie theaters on national films that are independently distributed.