Films: The Black Panther

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The Black Panther  {La Pantera Negra}

The Black Panther
La Pantera Negra

Mexico, 2010, 108 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Crime, Cult, Film Noir, Mexican, Psychological, Sci-Fi
Programs: Contemporary World Cinema, Festival de Cine Mexicano
Language: Spanish English Subtitles

DIRECTOR: Iyari Wertta
Producer: Issa Guerra
Editor: Luciana Jauffred, Francisco Rivera, Yoame Escamilla
Screenwriter: Iyari Wertta
Cinematographer: Christian Rivera
Principal Cast: Enrique Arreola, Laura de Ita, Dolores Heredia, Ely Guerra, Mario Almada, Fernando Cianguerotti

Shot in the noir style of the mid-twentieth century, Mexican director Iyeri Wertta’s The Black Panther is part classic black-and-white cinema, part sci-fi and part surreal pulp fantasy. After receiving a cryptic phone call, alcoholic gumshoe Nico Beamonte embarks on a mission from God to find the Black Panther. At the same time, he is being chased by La Muerte (Death); sultry and elegantly clad in black, she bids him to locate as well the cryogenically frozen Pedro Infante, iconic Mexican movie star and music idol of the 1950s.

As Beamonte begins his hunt, going on nothing but a name, it seems he’s not alone: jockeys, men in white suits, even an ex-lover are all undergoing the same search. Beamonte remembers the innocence of a youth spent wanting to become like Pedro Infante, the epitome of a great macho: he is brave loves women (who love him back) and revels in carousing and singing. But Beamonte doesn’t come close to resembling his role model. An aimless loser, he drinks all day; even God tells him his life is pointless since he hasn’t known love or had children.

Complicating matters further is El Gringo, who wants the Black Panther at any price—including that of his own daughter, who’s engaged in an affair with a lesbian Martian. Yes, even aliens from outer space get involved in the existential dilemma of the deadbeat detective as he questions his faith, his ideals and the meaning of life.
—Rebecca Caro

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Special thanks to University of Colorado Denver Office of Student Affairs, Latin American Education Foundation

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