For Benedict Anderson, the idea of a nation is that of an imagined community. Imagined, he says, because literature, and especially the press, allowed us to create a consciousness of all others that are our fellow nationals, despite the fact that we don’t know them and never will. The cinema, in the 20th and 21st centuries, has taken the place of the press in the era that Anderson studied, and in a very clear way, especially last century, helped define nations by their film production. The cinema of France, Bresson’s for example, allows the French people to identify as a people, as does the cinema of Mexico through the films of Fernando de Fuentes or Emilio Fernández.
Today, Mexico’s cinema, and that of many filmmakers around the world, is adopting this same function, but not to nourish the idea of a national cinema, but the cinema of a global community. Though Anderson considers that an essential characteristic of nations is that they need not to be global, they always need other nations to define themselves, globalization and digital technologies have thrust us into a time where borders are so permeable that citizens have the possibility to think of themselves as a planetary community.
One planet, millions of stories, has been the motto of the FIC Monterrey for many years. We firmly believe that human beings, wherever we may live, have similar basic experiences, but radically distinct stories that need to be told. The films selected for this year’s Festival reflect a cinema of Mexico, that speaks to the world, and a world cinema that speaks to Mexico. We must make this dialogue meaningful. In a time when everything is interrelated, storytelling can help us live together in a more collaborative, constructive and peaceful way, cinema can move us forward. Cinema can move our hearts, our souls, our actions, because understanding the other’s context allows us to find the similarities in our essential experiences. We hope that the 2017 Monterrey International Film Festival is an opportunity, born out of northern Mexico, of global conversations. Allow cinema to move you.
Twenty-four times per second a fixed image disappears before our eyes and it is, in that dark and empty space, that moment between one image and another, where the movement that creates cinema is born. It is those thousandths of a second of absence that feed time and dynamism to the still image and allow whole worlds to be generated before the eyes of audiences eager to experience the power of cinema.
For the Monterrey IFF, this transformative capacity of the cinema has been essential in the vision that it pursues as promoter of the Mexican and world cinema. We deeply believe in the power of cinema to move, to squeeze, to shake. Because the movement of film presents us with realities of near and far, stories and characters that inundate us, and it is these affections that lead us to action.
All the arts are very complex constructions of meanings that we share between creators and public and in their essence is the potential to transform. Cinema can transform the filmmaker, the public, and the world. Cinema moves perspectives. Cinema moves cultures. Cinema moves consciousness. Cinema moves souls and hearts. Cinema moves.
Juan Manuel González
Monterrey International Film Festival