Thursday, November 29, 2007

Champions of the People

I was working at the Santa Fe Film Festival last week.  There were lots of great documentaries up there, but my favorite was Super Amigos. It's about luchadores (Mexican wrestlers) who serve as social advocates in Mexico City.

There's Super Barrio who fights slum lords and gentrification, Ecologistica is the environmentalist, Super Animal who beats up matadors, Super Gay battles homophobia, and Fray Tormenta runs an orphanage.   Their costumes became a symbol for advocate groups to rally around.  Their wrestling antics attracted the media who, by videotaping the spectacles for the news, created more awareness of the social crisis at hand.  This further solidified the community.  

The best part is that all of the Super Amigos consider themselves real super heroes.  Not even the authorities know the real identities of the men behind the masks.  Super Barrio made an appearance at the festival's screening.  He remarked that he had some trouble getting through customs at the airport in his costume.