SXSW 2019: The Wall of Mexico

A Mexican family puts up a wall in The Wall of Mexico so as to stop their white neighbors from stealing their very special well water.

Henry (Esai Morales) and Monica Aristas (Alex Meneses) hires Winfield resident Don (Jackson Rathbone) to serve as a handyman for their family.  They are a very rich Mexican-American family and their two daughters are quite the degenerates.  Don doesn’t know exactly why they are rich but only that they are.  This doesn’t stop Don from becoming interested in Tania (Marisol Sacramento) down the road.

The people of Winfield don’t really care for the Aristas family.  It makes sense when you think about it because the Aristas have all the money in the world.  Whereas, the poor white people in this town are just that…poor.   It turns out that these people don’t really care for the family’s well.  This may explain why the family decides to have Don standing by to guard the well at night.

While not knowing how they came into money originally, Don eventually finds out that the Aristas sell the well water for an arm and a leg.  Okay, not literal arms and legs but I think you can get the idea from here.  Meanwhile, the well levels somehow manage to drop overnight.  This leads the family to build a wall and the neighbors are having none of it.  A wall over a well!  Surely, you’ve got to be kidding, right?!?  Sure enough, this is exactly what they do.  Their water, their land.  They can do with it what they will but it doesn’t mean that you have to like it!

This is a film that seems to be more so of a political metaphor than anything else.  I stress this because we have a Mexican family building a wall to keep their white neighbors out.  Here in the States, the current political atmosphere is quite different with the whole urge to build an unnecessary wall.  Responding to current political environment in this way is quite a smart idea form Zachary Cotler now that I think about it.  When one thinks about a Mexican wall, this film is definitely not what any of us would have in mind.  He’s basically taken the whole idea and flipped the entire thing around.

The Wall of Mexico is quite the allegorical response to the Trump administration.  It’s even more ironic when one realizes that this American-made film was filmed south of the border.  That’s a win for the Mexican economy nonetheless.  Honestly, I can’t stop laughing at this part.

DIRECTORS:  Zachary Cotler and Magdalena Zyzak
SCREENWRITER:  Zachary Cotler
CAST:  Jackson Rathbone, Esai Morales, Marisol Sacramento, Carmela Zumbado, Alex Meneses, Moises Arias, with Mariel Hemingway and Xander Berkeley

The Wall of Mexico holds its world premiere during the 2019 SXSW Film Festival in the Narrative Spotlight program. Grade: 3.5/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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