Those Who Remain by Juan Carlos Rulfo

If you were part of our Latin American Film Festival, you had the opportunity to enjoy great movies from several filmmakers that have made their mark by exploring the human condition and reflecting upon the realities that Latin American countries are facing. This year Mexico was the honorary guest at the Festival and I had the privilege to meet Juan Carlos Rulfo, Mexican film director and son of the famous writer Juan Rulfo, author of Pedro Páramo. Juan Carlos has been a very active filmmaker creating several documentaries conveying powerful stories that show the diversity and complexity of Mexico’s social fabric. Such documentaries have been recognized in a selection of festivals in Mexico and abroad. His most celebrated films have received awards such as the Silver Ariel in México in 2000 for I Forgot I Don't Remember, and the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2006 for In the Pit.

On this occasion, Rulfo brought to us a powerful documentary offering a different perspective on migration. Those Who Remain (Los que se quedan) portrays the life of the families that stay in Mexico while their fathers, sons and mothers migrate to the United States in search of better opportunities. This film is an intimate story of longing and how families adapt to new ways of life, where distance becomes a constant element of everyday life. Juan Carlos mentioned that this documentary sheds light on those who are left waiting for their loved ones and that it was a cathartic experience not only for the people sharing their stories, but for him as well.

After talking to Rulfo, you can get a sense that he is a talented filmmaker but also a grounded person that is very in touch with the reality of the Mexican workers that against all odds try to cross the border to provide for their families. It was wonderful to speak with him and find out that he continues to be in contact with the families that appear in the documentary. Currently, Juan Carlos is working on another project that he did not disclose but it is great to know that he is immersed in the creative process of a new documentary.

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