Macario. 1960. Mexico. Directed by Roberto Gavaldón. Screenplay by Emilio Carballido, Roberto Galvadón, B. Traven. With Ignacio López Tarso, Pina Pellicer. In Spanish; English subtitles. 90 min.
Aimed at an international audience—and indeed, it was the first Mexican film to be nominated for an Academy Award, as well as Mexico’s entry in the 1960 Cannes Film Festival—Macario takes the form of a macabre fable about an impoverished peasant (Ignacio López Tarso) who is kind to a mysterious stranger on the Day of the Dead, and is rewarded with the power to heal the sick. Drawing on a novella by B. Traven (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre), Gavaldón and his cinematographer, Gabriel Figueroa, create a rich pageant of folkloric imagery.