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Si realmente quieres entender el "Cinco de mayo", pues...

The Storm that Swept Mexico is a wonderful documentary: informative, elegant, and deep. It includes interviews with men who fought with Emiliano Zapata, Zapata's grandson, author Elena Poniatowska, and many extremely well-informed scholars on Mexican history. For those of us who live in the United States, understanding Mexico is an important task. Learning its history is key to that understanding.  You can see the trailer for the documentary here.

Seeing and hearing the interviews with the Zapatista veterans was an amazing experience. The light that still burns in those men's eyes is hard to forget, once seen--and perhaps, as hard to understand. It is not all fire, that light. It is also liquid, a mobile mixture of chispa and sadness, of hope once lived in extremis and hope destroyed in extremis. The documentary also includes interviews with people present at the 1968 college demonstration in Mexico City, where Mexican federal police killed 300 people. This is live history, beautifully and faithfully told. Don't miss it.

The two-hour program has already aired on some PBS stations and will air on others on or around May 15th.  In the meantime, on this Cinco de mayo, visit your local jamaica, eat some great Mexican food and drink some suave Mexican cerveza--and remember that this country is our next-door neighbor ... para siempre.


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