IFFR Review: Nudo Mixteco

Mother and daughter

Mexico, in many ways, has a PR problem when it comes to portrayals of the country on the big screen. More often than not, the Latin American country features for its connections with the manufacture and distribution of drugs. Whether it’s the violence and murders driven by the cartels or its position in the transportation route up into the United States. We’re finally getting more rich and diverse stories finding a place in film festivals and independent cinemas. Such as Nudo Mixteco.

During the festival of San Mateo in a rural mountainous community in the state of Oaxaca, three prodigal children return. All at different states in their lives and coming home for different reasons. María (Sonia Couoh), Esteban (Noé Hernández) and Toña (Myriam Bravo) have their own unique stories but this homecoming isn’t easy for any of them. Indeed, they soon find themselves at odds with what they’ve left behind.

Nudo Mixteco melds local beliefs and traditions with modern urban reality to create narratives which are both robust and combative. Writer/Director Ángeles Cruz builds on her experiences of growing up in a small town to create an enthralling and intelligent fable. Using the juxtaposition between the supposed safety and security of a close-knit community with the often outdated and traditional values it holds as the driver. With great central performances, Nudo Mixtec is a fascinating portrait of a modern rural Mexico still living in the past.

Nudo Mixteco screens at IFFR.

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