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An aerial view of the screening of Roma at Los Pinos. An aerial view of the screening of Roma at Los Pinos.

Los Pinos plays leading role in screening of award-winning Roma

More than 3,000 brave the cold to watch the award-winning film at the former home of presidents

Los Pinos, which until last month was the official residence of the Mexican president, continues to enhance its reputation as the new people’s palace.

President López Obrador opened the doors of the opulent home to the public for the first time on the day of his inauguration earlier this month, a move that has drawn thousands of visitors to see where presidents have lived since 1934.

Then last Thursday, there was another reason to visit. More than 3,000 people flocked to Enrique Peña Nieto’s former digs for a special screening of the new Mexican film Roma.

Despite the cold weather, film lovers lined up for more than two hours to ensure they got a spot on the grounds in front of the 120-square-meter screen.

Palomitas y ponche, or popcorn and (non-alcoholic) punch – a popular Christmas drink – were handed out free of charge to the most punctual arrivals.

Before the film, which has been nominated for three Golden Globe Awards, Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuarón appeared on screen to offer a message to the attendees.

“Does it still smell of sulfur or has it been aired out now?” he asked about the presidential mansion, taking a cue from former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez’s comment about George W. Bush before he delivered a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in 2006 a day after the former U.S. president had done the same.

The reference to sulfur was meant to imply that the devil — in the form of Bush — had preceded him.

After Cuarón’s introduction, filmgoers sat back for the next 135 minutes and watched the drama of Roma unfold

The protagonist, Cleo, represented a sharp contrast to the luxury that successive presidents have enjoyed at Los Pinos.

Yalitza Aparicio, an actor from Oaxaca with no previous experience, has won acclaim for her performance as a domestic worker in Cuarón’s movie, which has been described as a cinematic lover letter to 1970s Mexico City.

“It was just what we expected. A faithful portrait of our society and a call to rescue the [lost] love in our families,” said Fernanda Kuykendall, who watched the film with her son.

Roma, which had only a limited theatrical release before being added to the Netflix streaming service last Friday, has been touted as a front-runner for best picture at next year’s Academy Awards. The nominations will be announced on January 22.

Source: El Financiero (sp) 

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