La Tragedia de Macario
Tragedy as History
“La Tragedia de Macario” (Laguna Productions) is based on director Pablo Veliz’s father attempting to enter the United States. Veliz, who is only 23, has crafted a sincere and moving film about immigration. He begins by showing us the life of Macario, his father, and his jokes, his loving and exasperated wife, their poverty, how e lost his job. This also is shown very slowly so that we have a feel of who the person is. By the time that Macario and his friend get to the American border, we really care what happens to him.
Veliz manages to create a very realistic picture from a news clipping about a fatal single incident in the history of Mexican immigration to the United States. Here is a moving and tender look at the hardship and the ultimate tragedy of a poor, out-of-work Mexican laborer who put everything he had into one place and lost it all when he attempted to cross the border to find work. Because this really happened, the movie is all the more real and all the more poignant. The film effectively puts a human face on the stereotype of the illegal immigrant. It looks at the oppression that drives people who work the land to flee their homes and the despair and deprivation under which they live and try to have a better life somewhere else. What really drives the film is the love that Macario has for his wife Regina and then the visitation of the Virgin Mary at the local church and on the train that Macario rides.
The movie is full of magical realism and the music that accompanies the film is brilliant. But the movie is troubling because it deals with such a real issue. This is a powerful film that must be watched in order to understand better the world in which we live.