Pinocchio is coming to Netflix; “I bring Mexico within 24 hours”: Del Toro

“Where would you like to go in those moments when you are down? Take this movie away Finland, put whatever you want on it and it will be the same story, because we are not talking about a country, a nation or a distant place, it could be a kind of nirvana”, explains the filmmaker Horace Alcala about his debut Finlanda film whose world premiere took place during the Guadalajara Film Festival 2022. The director traveled to Juchitán, Oaxaca, to learn about and deepen the muxeswho call themselves “the third gender”, and of which Horacio believes that their reality has not been discussed.

By meeting them and living their day to day, the filmmaker decided to resume his stories and translate them into your first fiction of “magical realism”.

“During this research process, I realized that everything was very romanticizedthey idealized them, it was not what was shown in the documentaries. It is true that they are accepted by the communitybut at the same time, they are rejected, they can dress as they want, but they don’t have law to fall in love, have a family life or be with your loved one”, explains Alcalá to Indigo report.

An earthquake hits a community in Oaxaca, a space where they live Mariano and the muxes Amaranth and Deliriumwhich, in addition to collapsing buildings and streets, becomes one more character, like a call of nature that detonates in the community and gives them an opportunity to reinvent themselves or live in a new way.

For Alcalá, contact with nature is one of the first axes of Finlandas this element is also a kind of shelter for the muxes or even a way of communication where they can take out their ghosts.

“The quarry does not really exist, it is a artistic license that I allowed myself to add, because I wanted to play with this universe and make it more accessible to people. The subject of muxes can be very difficult for many people who are not so open to the situation of the third gender”, he recounts.

Finland focuses on three generic stories that could happen anywhere in the world; Mariano, who discovers himself a muxe, but his mother does not accept him because she wants him to be a priest; Amaranta lives with her father, her abuser, and Delirio, the matriarch of the muxe community and the mother who protects and teaches the others to live.

Finland will be screened at the Cineteca Nacional, in Mexico City, starting on November 2

“I can see the muxes as Mexican, but also as ForeignI lived 20 in Mexico and 20 in Spain, this has allowed me to see my culture from outside this bubble and understand it in another way; now that I am further away is when I am more connected with my culture.

“I have used the muxes to reflect on what has happened in my life, I know many people of the third gender in Spain and I can see that there are things that are similar, that you don’t have to be a muxe to go through these situations like discrimination Y violence”, adds Alcala.

On cultural appropriation and muxes

In addition to exploring the worldview of the muxes, Horacio Alcalá wanted to raise the issue of plagiarism. To do this, he incorporates Marta into the story, a Spanish designer who travels to oaxaca to get inspired and make a new collection.

However, in the course of their journey, it is discovered that Marta steals the designs from the embroidery of traditional costumesaction that puts on the table the limits of inspiration and what could be called plagiarism, copying and appropriation.

“I wanted to put the issue of plagiarism on the table, I am not making a judgment, I put both sides of this conflict and that from this film the dialogue about the cultural contribution”, he details.

The situation becomes more complex when it is discovered that even the business Where does Marta belong? plagiarized by others.

For what Horacio indicates that, unfortunately, it is a situation that happens constantly in the field of fashion.

“These characters help me to go deeper, because there are judgments well known in this situation, where the brands have been beaten. We still have a long way to go because not only does the plagiarism in communities, we do not plagiarize, but we do not value the work, we always haggle and try to pay three pesos for the artisan work of the communities. Maybe the situation is worse, but it is a denunciation of what is happening, ”she says.

“The most important thing has been the participation of the muxes themselves and showing their lives”

Finland takes the viewer through a journey between silences, colors and landscapes where his protagonists they fight to be heard without judgement, that their culture be respected in order to live with dignity.

But it is also a film about love and how this feeling has the power to keep someone alive with an illusion when you have nothing else left.

“Marta and Amaranta fall in love, they love each other and go against everything established in their culture, it’s like a Romeo and Juliet, they manage to love each other and share their feelings,” he abounds.

When Horace Alcala wrote Finland it was for a totally personal and intimate cause; however, now he sees it as something universal, since it touches on issues with various nuances and perspectives.

“I will never finish delving into the muxes, they have a message of endurance for the world, which is eager to listen to people like them, they are necessary to give a message of hope. We all have in our heads Finlanda place where we go when we cannot or do not want to be in this place because it is too grotesque and we want to fly and transport ourselves.

“Finland is a place to escape and feel better, which is perhaps not physical, but more emotional”, he concludes.

Other elements

Colors are an essential part of Finland, which was made 90 percent with natural light; It is also inspired by the structure of the flemish painting.

“Even Amaranta mentions the hope yellow, it becomes an element to draw their emotions. In post-production we do not add color, we leave it as it is to show the colors of Oaxaca.

The film featured the participation of Oaxacan musicians, who made up a large part of the soundtrack.

Currently Horacio Alcalá is in the pre-production of the film About the worksa fake biopic about Sara Montiel that she calls magical realism and a surreal comedy.


Pinocchio is coming to Netflix; “I bring Mexico within 24 hours”: Del Toro