Wandering Lives

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Director Juan Antonio De La Riva's first film, Vidas Errantes is in some ways an allegory of Mexican film history as well as a salute to cinematic milestones. This quiet, understated story is about Francisco (José Carlos Ruíz) and Guillermo (Ignacio Guadalupe), two itinerant movie-projectionists who bring along the films, a projector, and white sheets as they travel from town to town in the mountains of Durango, setting up their outdoor "theater." The duo join in local festivities, have a few love affairs, make new friends, and as they do, clips of movie classics from Mexican cinema are interspersed with the projectionists' adventures. Then Josefina (Josefina González), a farm woman, falls in love with Guillermo and joins them on the road. Throughout their travels, Francisco is planning to build a permanent movie theater and when he finally has the means to go ahead with his project, construction starts. The trio still travel around showing films, but misfortune strikes when the frame of the theater under construction burns to the ground. (In 1982, a fire destroyed the Cineteca film archive and its collection -- a possible parallel to the destructive fire in the film.) Once Francisco loses his theater, he does not give up -- though it seems he will have to hit the road again. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi


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