Guillermo del Toro on a Landmark of Mexican Political Cinema

A potent combination of faux-documentary and horror-film techniques, Felipe Cazals’s 1976 Canoa: A Shameful Memory reimagines the brutal killings that occurred in 1968 in San Miguel Canoa, where villagers attacked a group of visiting university employees who were alleged to be communist revolutionaries by a despotic local priest. This controversial critique of political hysteria, which won the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, galvanized a generation of directors with an unflinching candor that was rarely seen in Mexican cinema at the time. In this video, featured on our newly released edition, Guillermo del Toro explains Canoa’s enduring significance, highlighting its meticulously constructed screenplay and taboo-busting depictions of religious orthodoxy.

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