Cinemas throughout Mexico on Thursday premiered Mexican director Luis Estrada’s film the “‘Perfect Dictatorship,” a name derived from a quote by author Mario Vargas Llosa to describe Mexico’s political system at a time before the year 2000h that the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) had been ruling the country uninterruptedly for about 70 years.
In 2000 and until 2012, the National Action Party (PAN) won elections. The PRI is no in power again under the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto.
The film, a dark comedy and parody, intertwines together a critical depiction of the country’s very cozy relationship between the political class and private mass media. Its satire highlights how the media has and perhaps is utilized by politicans for political gains.
While Estrada reaffirms that the characters are fictitious, he says “the events, are suspiciously true,” and that “anything [in this film] that is familiar, or similar to reality, is not a mere coincidence.” The film takes an obvious stab at the current president and the PRI.
It pokes fun at Peña Nieto’s presidential campaign and election in 2012, which was wrought with scandal and accusations that the then candidate PRI presidential candida and his party paid for extensive television coverage by Mexican television giant, Televisa.
Estrada expresses the anecdote that the film was written before Peña Nieto was even a candidate. “We began to write in 2011; Enrique Peña Nieto was still not formally a PRI presidential candidate. We decided to assume that things were going to happen the way they happened, which is synthesized in the promotional tagline of the film. ‘Television has already installed a president…will it do it again?'”.
The film’s leading actor Damian Alcazar, expresses the hope that the film will not only entertain, but provoke reflection.
“Its a film that comes out in the right moment, that strongly criticizes historical circumstances or the social, political and economic moment that we are living right now, and it is sad that every day we are taken aback by more brutality.”
He continued to say that the film mixes corruption, kidnapping, murders and organized crime, all of which has been a stark reality making headlines in recent weeks in the country after police in the state of Guerrero killed six people and forcibly disappeared 43 college students.
Estrada made his fame with the film ‘Herods Law’ (2000), which was a direct satirical attack at Mexico’s 71 years of PRI rule and which faced censorship, and for the film ‘Hell’ criticizing the country’s bloody drug war strategy launched by former President Felipe Calderon.