Skip to main content

YANCO

Mexico, 1961 (MIFF 1962)

Director: Servando Gonzalez

A simple story set in the tiny village of Mizquic, which forms part of the Xochimilco area on the outskirts of Mexico City. In this village a way of life which is a blend of Catholicism and paganism is still practised. Juanito, a musically gifted boy, cannot bear the noises of the town and runs off to the forest where he meets an old candy vendor, who teaches him to play the violin. When the old man dies, Juanito steals the violin every night from the pawnshop where it is for sale. The superstitious villagers think that the soul of the dead is playing it; armed with sticks and shovels they set out to track down and destroy the evil spirit. Centred around All Saints Day there are exceptional scenes of the night celebration of the Day of the Dead, with hundreds of flower-bedecked canoes, crowding the lagoons, illuminated with torches and laden with offerings. An experimental film, it is the joint effort of writer-director Servando Gonzalez and youthful photographer Alex Phillips, Jr. Made with a minimum of dialogue and with limited finance, Yanco has been described by overseas critics as a Mexican "New Wave" film.

See also...

BLACK WIND

The black wind is a desert dust storm regarded as the worst enemy of the men building a railroad across the Great Altar Desert in Mexico. The film explores the dangerous adventures of its hero, a ... More »

ALAMAR

“Documentary? Fiction?… simply, and finally, a film - albeit one of uncommon and delicately achieved beauty.” - Cinema Scope ... Hoping to impart something of his Mayan heritage, divorced ... More »

LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE

Laura Esquivel wrote her first novel in 1989, and 'Como Agua Para Chocolate' has become one of the top selling Mexican novels ever. The film version, produced and directed by Alfonso Arau (known for ... More »

THE TWO FRIDAS

Out of the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City comes this portrait of artist Frida Kahlo, a luminary of the Mexican Modernist movement. Where the recent feature Frida presented a sketchy ... More »

HOMEWORK

... ... This latest offering by one of Mexico's most prolific and outrageous commentators is a single shot — one angle, one com­position. The result is anything but one note; rather, the ... More »

EISENSTEIN IN MEXICO: THE ETERNAL CIRCLE

Eisenstein in Mexico: The Eternal Circle documents one of the least known, yet perhaps most influential, periods in the life of master filmmaker, Sergei Eisenstein. During his brief visit to Mexico ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director