Three tasty Mexican short films that will take you direct and non-stop to the Yucatan Peninsula and its delicious culinary traditions.
Mexican diversity and creativity go hand in hand. Cine Janal, from Mérida to the world, is a good example. Miguel Ventura, together with a large team of collaborators, has been refining a novel and entertaining formula for three years to make the gastronomy of Yucatán known.
His most recent production is titled El Tikin Xiik ‘Asado (2018), a comedy / family meal that involves three generations and a birthday party through a series of anecdotes that at times refer to the Mexican version of Big Fish (2003) , the Tim Burton movie.
Other good option is the documentary Vuelve a la vida (2009) by Carlos Hagerman. What in the hands of other creators could be a monotonous series of instructions on how to prepare a fish, here is presented through endearing characters. Take a look, but be careful, this short film may wake up your appetite.
But when was the last time (or the first) you saw a short film in the Maya language?
The Pib (2017) is the second installment of this series of ten episodes, which up to this day continues to be produced.
A small girl, Day of the Dead and the corresponding traditional dish interweave in an emotive story of high technical quality, which seeks to transport us to the jungle for a few minutes. If you liked Coco (2017) by Lee Unkrich, this story will not leave you indifferent.
In times of NAFTA, uncertainty and walls, Huevito con Chaya (2016) – despite being the first installment of Cine Janal – remains more current than ever. Being away from home means missing the family and the food.
The recipes that come from the community in which we grow have the ability to take us to the past, to remind us of who we are.
In all these short films there is a balance between melancholy and sense of humor. Melancholic bittersweet, like drinking beer in a palapa, while it rains on the beach.
Faced with the flavors, words abound. Good gastronomy is about sharing identity and connecting with others.
Keep an eye on the productions of Cine Janal here. Maybe you learn some recipes in the process. How well do you know the Peninsula? What do you think of Yucatecan cuisine? What’s your favourite food?
Come to ecstasy with these “foodporn” short films, who knows, maybe you´ll end up enjoying them much better than Netflix fashion thrillers.
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