Zapata: El sueño de un héroe

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Zapata: El sueño del héroe
Poster of zapata: El sueño del héroe
Directed by Alfonso Arau
Produced by Pliny Porter
Alfonso Arau
Written by Alfonso Arau
Starring Alejandro Fernández
Patricia Velásquez
Music by Ruy Folguera
Cinematography Vittorio Storaro
Edited by Carlos Puente
Release date(s) 2004
Country Mexico
Language Spanish / Nahuatl

Zapata: El sueño del héroe, (in English: Zapata: The dream of a hero) also titled simply Zapata, is a Mexican motion picture first released in 2004.

This fictionalized portrayal of Emiliano Zapata as an Indigenous Mexican shaman, directed by Alfonso Arau, was reportedly the most expensive Mexican movie ever produced, with a massive ad campaign, and the largest ever opening in the nation's history. Unusual in the Mexican film industry, Zapata was financed independently.

The main character was played by Alejandro Fernández (singer, and casual actor) son of Vicente Fernández (mostly known for his ranchera songs and "humorous-macho" movie roles in the late 60s). Infested with non-sense script lines such as, "Un soldado sin rifle, es como un taco sin tortilla" or "A soldier without a rifle is like a taco without a tortilla", this movie was panned by the critics and audiences alike. Against all expectations, Alejandro Fernández didn't sing during the movie while mounting a horse (a family icon for the Fernandez's). Also starring telenovela actress and singer Lucero, and an array of Televisa (Main Mexican Pop-culture Channel in alliance with Univision) artists such as Patricia Velásquez and Jaime Camil, the movie was panned by critics, due to continuity issues, as well as concerns about the portrayal of Zapata, along with some rumors that he was of the homosexual persuasion plus semi-nudes of historical figures. Although many of the marketing and promotional ideas utilised in the release of the film are "revolutionary" in Mexico, after its opening day, the movie performed poorly in movie theatres, far below expectations, and, as of 28 May 2004, had yet to find any distributors outside of Latin America. Ironically, Alfonso Arau's expectations were to receive the Oscar and publicly stated, "If filmmakers didn't think about the Academy Awards, we wouldn't know what we're doing".

Zapata made its U.S. debut at the Santa Fe Film Festival on December 3, 2004 at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. There were some rumors that Zapata's set design and some of its props were also used for "Amor Real", a major Mexican soap opera project (since they are both in the same style), however these rumors were proved false, since a lot of the props from "Amor Real" were actually recycled in another project (this time in a kid-soap style) called: "Amy, La Niña De La Mochila Azul", in which these sets were merely painted in bright colors to mimic a beach-side village, which couldn't have been done since the props from Zapata were ruins and computer generated graphics.


The film happens in the last quarter of the 19th century and the first nineteen years of the twentieth, during the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz (Justo Martínez), the presidency of Francisco I. Madero, the military revolt of Victoriano Huerta (Jesús Ochoa), the Convention of Generals and, finally, the death of Zapata (Alejandro Fernández), already in the constitutionalist stage of Venustiano Carranza. The film does not try to be a chair of history but a fable that obtains the identification of the spectators with the hero, through the successive confrontation of the protagonist with the power, represented in the antagonistic figure of Victoriano Huerta. In it, Emiliano Zapata appears like predestining, "the signal" in his chest, the mark or spot with the form of a little hand is the sign that identifies him as "the one" by the Huehuetlatolli (the heirs of the tradition) to be their guide. Thus, we see the birth of Emiliano, where he is recognized like the possible leader of his town. Zapata will have to break with his vision of the "real reality" and to enter in that other magical knowledge of the Mexican tradition and its inscrutable religious "sincretismo".

Cast (in credits order)[edit]


External links[edit]