In El infierno, Luis Estrada’s gruesome burlesque of Mexico on its 200th birthday, Benny García (Damián Alcázar) is deported from the US not long before celebrations commence. Robbed by bandits and the military on his way home, he finds that the only line of work available to him is that which led to the premature demise of his brother, for whom he is rapidly able to purchase a tomb upgrade.
None of this is invented: were the drugs war to end tomorrow, the Culiacán cemetery in which members of the Sinaloa cartel rest in more peace than they grant to decent public officials would surely soon join the battlefield tourism niche occupied inter alia by Bobby Sands murals in Northern Ireland.
The same combination of drug money, truncated lives and catholic taste has led to similar results among Barcelona’s gypsies. I know nothing of how this young man led his life or met his end, but his memorial is a great example of the genre:
El infierno could have been considerably shorter, but you shouldn’t miss the war between the avengers of El Diablo and the Holy Family cartel, which includes two other fine cemetery scenes. For a brief and for me far more powerful glimpse of this facet of Mexican reality, try the superb Don Bartletti/LA Times ultra-short on José Espinoza, who paints tombs and whatever for the Sinaloa cartel and for whoever else requires his services.
- Homeless Chinese in Barcelona
Plus, how to acquire a country house for next to nothing.
- Provençal carol about gypsies from the east who tell Jesus' fortune
A free choral arrangement of an old French carol.
- Pork belly laughs come to Barcelona
“Definitely not for those with scrupples. “
- Waiting room
Many of the cemeteries I visit – the cat has to be fed – are being enlarged at the moment, although
- A remarkable gravestone in Waltham Forest Muslim cemetery
If tears could build a stairway / And memories a lane, / We’d walk right up to heaven / And bring