20 July 2014 | EdgarST
Comedy with Cult Potential
"Dicen que soy comunista" is a very funny comedy, directed and co-scripted (with art director Gunther Gerszo) by Alejandro Galindo, a serious and progressive filmmaker, responsible for half a dozen major works made during the "golden age" of Mexican cinema, including telling portraits of the working and middle classes ("Campeón sin corona", "Una familia de tantas", respectively), as well as a fine motion picture about the illegal migration from México to USA (see ["Espaldas mojadas"). A spoof on the witch-hunt craze of the 1940-50s, when many persons were victims of the madness created by the fear of the so-called "red menace", Communism, some may object that there is nothing to laugh about from this chapter of world politics, but the same could be said of the situation described by Charles Chaplin in "The Great Dictator". Resortes is moving as well as funny in the role of Benito Reyes, a naive typesetter who gets involved with a gang led by Macario Carrola (Miguel Manzano), a thug who fronts as the secretary of a leftist party with a name as long as rhetoric, and a membership of 2800 men. Carrola in turn follows orders from Wilhelm Ribenburf (Charles Rooner), a mean foreign entrepreneur, and things get kind of ugly with explosions, deaths and torture. At the time the film was made, Mexican unions and workers' organization were still considered victories of the 1910 Revolution, but they had also become corrupt and the revolutionary party had turned into a questionable institution, which is also reflected in the film, with crooked politicians and gullible workers. The plot also involves a contest to select the Queen of the Waitresses, a set of popular dances of the day (in which Resortes excels), and a benevolent gang of street kids and a Republican Spanish shopkeeper, who save the day when things get out of hand for the typesetter, his little son Huicho (funny Joaquín Roche) and girlfriend Berta (María Luisa Zea). Among films with potential to become cults favorites, this one has a secure place.