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4.1
112 Ratings

Canoa

Directed by Felipe Cazals
Mexico, 1976
Drama

Synopsis

A group of students arrives in a small town during a hiking expedition. Once there, the local priest accuses them of being communist agitators on the run from an army crack-down against student demonstrations in nearby Mexico City and rallies the townsfolk to lynch them. Based on true facts.

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Canoa Directed by Felipe Cazals

Awards & Festivals

Berlin International Film Festival

1976 | Winner: Special Jury Prize (Silver Berlin Bear)

2017

Ariel Awards (Mexico)

1976 | Nominee: Golden Ariel

This self-knowing movie feels like Costa-Gavras, in his peak years, crafting a stew of The Ox-Bow Incident and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Except, crucially, it’s all true, and so meticulous you could write your own police report about the real 1968 incident… Blunt and bloody, the movie is a piece of history itself, graphically delineating the era’s collision course between autocratic power and generational discontent, a process that tore up Mexico in its own ‘dirty war.’
April 28, 2017
…The film isn’t engaging that perversity as much as it’s confounding easy or uncomplicated access to it. There’s little denying that Canoa‘s images of graphic violence inherently reward a certain morbid curiosity to witness atrocity or, more precisely, re-witness a past atrocity through a cinematic representation. Yet Cazals unpacks that interest by implicating representation itself as the central issue.
March 15, 2017
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…The film’s ominous setting and unreliable narrators would be enough to make it a masterpiece of the suspense and horror genres. Its sense of anxiety, which reaches a peak in the scene described above, is augmented by the sinister fact that the lynchings depicted in Canoa actually took place, on September 14, 1968, just two weeks before the Tlatelolco mass¬acre, one of the most violent and widely condemned episodes of the twentieth century in Mexico.
March 14, 2017
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