The Cinema Guild has released a new American trailer for the experimental independent film 499. The film combines documentary and fiction, using magical realism to draw parallels between the apocalyptic robbery of Tenochtitlan and the harsh realities of many contemporary Mexicans. The film was directed by Rodrigo Reyes (Lupe Under the Sun), and the screenplay is co-written by Reyes and Lorena Padilla. The main role is played by Eduardo San Juan.
Magically finding himself in contemporary Mexico, the 16th-century conquistador begins his epic journey, exploring the brutal legacy of colonialism in present-day Mexico, nearly five hundred years after Cortez conquered the Aztec Empire. He thus visits grieving relatives of slain activists, explores strip clubs and crosses misty mountains. The narrator brings to life a text from old diaries, as the traveler crosses dunes and busy cities through time, describing in detail how the Spaniards dehumanized the societies they encountered and with what impunity they maneuvered and fought.
“Rodrigo Reyes has created a powerful, beautiful and disturbing film that seems to make up its own genre… 499 deftly intertwines brutality with gentle beauty, and harsh reality with the realm of dreams.” – Jim Jarmusch
The film has won several festival awards, and the current critical rating on the Rotten Tomatoes page stands at 70%.
499 arrives in American cinemas on August 20th.
Check out the trailer for 499 below.