Macario (1960)

The first Mexican movie to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, it was also entered into the 1960 Cannes Film Festival. It’s based on the B. Traven novel The Third Guest and is loosely based on an old border legend. It also bears similarities to the Grimm Fairy Tale Godfather Death or The Death’s Godson. It was directed by Roberto Gavaldon.

Poor, hungry peasant Macario longs for just one good meal on the Day of the Dead. In fact, he’s so hungry that after seeing a parade of turkeys, he says that he will no longer eat until his dream of eating an entire roast turkey. His wife steals him one as he goes off to work.

As Macario prepares to eat, three men appear to him. The first one is a fine gentleman who is the Devil and the second is an old man. Macario refuses to share with them, as he believes they are powerful enough to get the food  themselves. But a third man, a peasant much like our hero, gets the turkey right away. And that man is Death.

Death is touched by this and becomes friends with Macario, but they never speak, merely stare at one another. He also gifts him with magical water, which can heal any injury. That gift will lead him through all manner of toil and trouble and one final meal with Death.

You can watch this on YouTube.

 

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