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Frame from the feature film "Night of Fire".
Frame from the feature film Noche de Fuego.

'Noche de Fuego' puts violence against women debate at the forefront

The realistic fiction film addresses gender violence across some communities in Mexico.

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The Mexican feature film Noche de fuego by director Tatiana Huezo, premiered on Tuesday, Sept. 14, as artists from the film industry walked the red carpet at the Los Pinos Cultural Complex. The film portrays the gender violence suffered in the North American country through the experience of three girls from a small town in Mexico plagued by drug trafficking.

"It is important to support Mexican cinema and give visibility to issues in our society that we must talk about, we are committed to being inclusive and showing diversity," said the Oaxacan actress Yalitza Aparicio, who was at the event as a presenter.

Noche de fuego is the first fiction film directed by Huezo, and reflects her social commitment to feminist struggles. The film also won her a special mention in the Un Certain Regard section at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

The premiere in her native Mexico has given her the same excitement as her participation at Cannes Festival.

"It's as if it were the first time [presenting it], my heart is pounding. Mexico is very important to me. I feel that it is our story and I hope it reaches many people and that it brings thoughts inside the family," the director said in an interview with EFE.

Putting gender violence at the center of the film made some guest actors and actresses reflect on the problem that affects the country.

"We must not get tired of talking about them until they cease to exist and art is one of the important places to do so," said actress Nailea Norvind.

Actress Carolina Politi, an Ariel Award nominee, pointed out the importance that even fiction films have in reflecting reality in a dignified way.

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"It's delicate to go into subjects like this because reality is so strong that fiction can be offensive. The closest thing to be faithful to reality was the documentary, but if fiction manages to transcend the obvious and go to a reflection of the human it may become necessary, we need to speak from a place beyond the literal," she said.

Activist and singer Vivir Quintana was also at the premiere and confessed to feeling happy to see other disciplines seek to contribute to the fight against violence from other spaces.

"To be part of this feminist movement and to see that cinema is also doing its part is incredible, to put that at the service of the movement is very powerful," Quintana told EFE.

After the difficulty of overcoming the pandemic, the feature film Noche de fuego will hit Mexican theaters on Sept. 16.

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