La maleta mexicana (2011) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • The story of three lost boxes known as the Mexican Suitcase that were recovered in 2007. The boxes, misplaced in the chaos at the start of WWII, contained many of the Spanish Civil War negatives by the legendary photographer Robert Capa and fellow photographers Gerda Taro and David "Chim" Seymour.

  • Mexican Suitcase tells the story of the recovery of 4,500 negatives by Robert Capa, Gerda Taro and David 'Chim' Seymour taken during the Spanish Civil War found 70 years later in a closet in Mexico City. The film looks at the journey of these negatives from France to Mexico; their survival and looks at how Spain reflects today on its own history as well as those who escaped. Mexico was the only country to come to the rescue and support of the Spanish Republic and then honor and support the Republic in exile when the rest of the world turned its back. Mexican Suitcase looks at this unique story and these photos lost for seventy years.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • From Mallerich Films-Paco Poch (www.pacopoch.cat):

    The Mexican Suitcase tells the story of three lost boxes, found in a closet in Mexico City in 2007, that disappeared in the chaos in Europe at the beginning of World War II. Contained in the suitcase were 4,500 unique negatives, the work of three friends, who met in Paris between 1936 and 1937, who would become some of the finest photojournalists of their time; exiled from their respective countries, Germany, Poland and Hungary. They were radicals who understood the dangers of fascism. They traveled to Spain together to fight fascism with their cameras. They were Robert Capa, David "Chim" Seymour and Gerda Taro.

    Throughout the film we learn through their images the story of the war and the exile, the horrors of the French camps on the beaches of southern France where thousands of Spaniards perished. We hear the story of how Mexico pledged its total support to the Republic in exile. The suitcase, a metaphor, takes us through the narrative with the voices and memories of survivors and of the subsequent generation of exiles living in Spain, France and Mexico. This is a film about photographs taken in the past (1937 to 1939) recovered in our present (2007). It is a film about seeing how we look and understand the past; how we ignore and bury what we prefer to turn away from; the role and the power of photography in this context.

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