Mexican Wave film review

★★★★★

Directed by: #JudsonVaughan

Film Review by: #JackBottomley



Doing the right thing is more than brave, it is truly being human. Even if this right thing puts you in the firing line of some powerful, scary and dangerous people, you cannot over overestimate the power of standing up and saying no to the evils of this world. Across the globe, many abuses, prejudices and violent acts continue to shake us and attack the fortitude of our soul but in standing against the tyranny, there is something invincible about this morally-driven act of defiance. Questioning the wickedness of powerful forces (especially those operating in a fierce storm cloud of mystery) and urging them for an answer can be deadly, it can be anger-inducing, it can be shattering but, as Mexican Wave shows, it is also a beaming display of the human heart and the resilience of our will.


#JudsonVaughan’s documentary sheds light on a topic that many people may well be unaware of (this writer certainly was) and in doing so, lingers strongly with you long after viewing. Mexican Wave looks at the efforts of a London-based group of Mexicans and non-Mexicans, who protest against the human rights violations and corrupt acts that continue to take place across Mexico, with focus on the September 2014 disappearance of 43 farming students. This act, has still yet to be explained and the people involved have yet to be found and they are but the tip of this murderous iceberg. Students, journalists and Mexican citizens continue to turn up tortured, maimed and murdered and the culprits remain a mystery.


Vaughan’s film cannot offer answers for the truth remains locked away and protected by true high powers but this film is a distressing call to the Mexican government to find its heart and disclose the brutal mystery behind ‘the 43’ and the many many others never found or that have been discovered mutilated. It is a most horrible story made slightly less so only by the impassioned advocates the film centres upon, who have found supporters in predominantly the Labour party leader #JeremyCorbyn among others, and who will not stop in their admirable, vital, mission for justice.


Filled with horrific real images of dead bodies, footage of discussed atrocities and even - in one really disturbing sequence - actual video footage from one of the students phones, Mexican Wave makes its points swiftly and effectively and every inch of the film is filled with passion. Passion to tell a story others deny, to raise an issue tucked away and to stand up and call out those who are massacring their own country. Made for just £300, this is a work of real integrity and drive, which deserves to find the attentions of as many people as possible, for this is precisely why documentary films remain so respected and why they exist in the first place - to educate a wider audience on a subject.


The disappearances of these students in Iguala, Guerrero continues to dwell in the minds of a confused, frightened and yet empowered public, who will not let these people’s memory die nor give up on hopes for peace and truth. This film’s unnerving discussions about the political issues surrounding the violence really resonates and compels you to think of a wider picture and context. Mexican Wave is a powerful watch about a very under-discussed subject but amidst all the pain, corruption, lies and grief, there is a rather inspiring story here of pursuing peace and answers in a climate where, increasingly, neither seem possible but that only makes them more necessary to achieve.


Remember the 43. Remember the countless other lives lost/disappeared. Remember the moment you first watched Mexican Wave. Haunting, compelling, essential.