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Hecho por México: The Films of Gabriel Figueroa

Thursday, July 24, 2008
6:30 p.m. A New Dawn
Julio Bracho (Mexico, 1943)

New Print

(Distinto amanecer). A stylish film noir with allegorical intent, A New Dawn encapsulates the tensions of its time between conservatism and a renewal of revolutionary ideals. “It was the first Mexican motion picture to focus upon life as a phenomenon in which two forces come together: love and solidarity” (Salvador Elizondo). Andrea Palma’s Julieta is a cabaret singer who reconnects with an old lover and fellow activist from their university days, Octavio (Pedro Armendáriz), now a labor organizer. Octavio enlists Julieta’s help in finding stolen documents that will indict a corrupt governor in the murder of a union leader. After a night of intrigue, in reverse-Casablanca mode, she must choose between activist Octavio and her disenchanted husband. One of the most distinguished films of a great year for Mexican cinema, 1943, A New Dawn couches its polemics in the policier style, a look at the urban side of cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa.

• Written by Bracho, Xavier Villaurrutia. Photographed by Gabriel Figueroa. With Andrea Palma, Pedro Armendáriz, Alberto Galán, Narciso Busquets. (108 mins, In Spanish with English subtitles, B&W, 35mm, From Filmoteca de la UNAM)