Latinos crowded the lobby for the premier of ACORAZADO, mingling at the cash bar while others made their way to the 2nd floor for margaritas hosted by Milagro Tequila. ¬†Free tequila flowed all night long. ¬†Trying to make our way to the tequila, we cut through a long line that snaked through the room and down the stairs. ¬†”What is everyone waiting for?” ¬†Ah…the Guelaguetza sign came into view. ¬†I had heard so much about this Korean town Oaxacan restaurant! ¬†We had the pleasure of meeting owner Bricia Lopez who greeted us with a bright smile and a kiss on the cheek.
The bell chimed and a voice encouraged everyone to take their seats. ¬† There were few seats available downstairs so we made our way to the balcony. ¬†Our vision unimpeded, we gazed down excitedly as a five-piece band took the stage to open up speeches beginning with the Director of the Festival Samuel Douek. ¬†The crowd went wild as they showed their love and appreciation of Mexican film and culture.
Director Alvaro Curiel introduced the brilliantly funny ACORAZADO and the red curtain opened. ¬†The name ACORAZADO or ‘battleship’ is significant of the raft built by protagonist Silverio Palacios to aide in his journey across the gulf from Mexico to the Florida keys. ¬†An unexpected turn of events occurs when Silverio veers off the compass and ends up in Cuba; little to his knowing.
Silverio soon becomes a staple figure among Cubans as the first Mexican to flee the Capital System to join the socialist revolution. ¬†The film is full of all sorts of twists and turns, and exuberant humor every step of the way. ¬†Silverio and the rest of the characters are carefully crafted and feel real. ¬†The story is poised with relatable insight that draws you right in. ¬†To top it all off, the film is wrapped up inside of a very present day social commentary that speaks on immigration and the yearn that many foreigners have for coming to the United States.
HOLA Mexico Film Festival runs through Wednesday, May 25th. ¬†For a list of screenings visit: http://holamexicoff.com/schedule
Montalban Theatre: 1615 Vine Street, Los Angeles, CA 90028