Canoa: A Shameful Memory (1976) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • A group of students arrives in a small town during a hiking expedition. Once there, the local priest accuses them of being communist agitators on the run from an army crack-down against student demonstrations in nearby Mexico City and rallies the townsfolk to lynch them. Based on true facts occurred in the town of Canoa in 1968.

  • In 1968, four University of Puebla employees on a mountain climbing trip were attacked and beaten, and two people were killed, by the townspeope of San Miguel de Canoa. The mob violence was apparently incited by a local priest, who had been warning the townspeope that leftists from the city would be coming to kill him. Felipe Cazals' retelling of this real-life tragedy unfolds as a faux docmuentary. There is a narrator who provides context as we are shown a landscape of rural poverty and clerical power. Cazals made the film in 1975 as a metaphor for the massacre of students in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in the Mexico City district of Tlatelolco on October 2, 1968 a massacre the truth of which is still not known.


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