Actors Danny Glover and Yalitza Aparicio and Culture Minister Alejandra Frausto presented the Mexican premiere of a Cannes Film Festival-winning movie on Wednesday night.
Directed by Salvadoran-Mexican Tatiana Huezo, Noche de Fuego – called Prayers for the Stolen in English – screened at Los Pinos Cultural Center, formerly the presidential residence.
Based on a book by American-Mexican author Jennifer Clement, the 110-minute film tells the story of three girls in the Guerrero Sierra who live amid a backdrop of gunshots and narcos, while they battle to maintain their innocence. It was awarded a special mention by the jury at this year’s Cannes festival.
At Wednesday night’s premier, Glover, a producer of the film, said it was exciting to be in Mexico to present Noche de Fuego, which translates literally into English as Night of Fire.
“Mexico has a rich history in cinematography, from the ’50s until more recent times,” said the 75-year-old actor best known for his role as Roger Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon film series.
In an interview with the newspaper Milenio, Glover said he became interested in collaborating on Noche de Fuego because of its portrayal of strong women and girls.
“… I come from a family of great women … from my great-grandmother to my wife,” he said, describing them as passionate women capable of taking complicated decisions and changing the status quo.
“… I believe it’s important to elevate the role of women in order to save humanity,” Glover said.
“… I can’t wait for 13-year-old girls to see the film and to see themselves reflected in her story [that of the the lead character Laydi] because the powerful transformation of the protagonist is a very powerful message,” he said.
Aparicio, a Mixtec woman from Oaxaca who rose to fame after starring in the 2018 film Roma, said that movies such as Noche de Fuego help to shed light on important issues in Mexican society that “we must talk about.”
Aparicio was one of several celebrities who appeared on the red carpet at the film’s Mexican premiere, which attracted more than 1,000 people to an outdoor area of Los Pinos. The film begins screening in Mexican cinemas on Thursday.