When Kapuscinski traveled to Mexico
The documentary by Polish filmmaker Ela Chrzanowska is now available on YouTube.
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Between the 1960s and 1970s, the famous Polish-born writer and journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski traveled to Mexico to report on the reality of Central America. These two trips, which allowed him to cover the civil wars in El Salvador and Honduras, are the starting point of the documentary Los Rios. The trip to Mexico with the master Kapuscinski which was made in 2016 by Polish filmmaker Ela Chrzanowska, who was his neighbor in Warsaw for many years and his most loyal admirer.
"He was my neighbor, we lived in Warsaw, but my shyness as a teenager never allowed me to talk to him, I was his admirer in silence," Chrzanowska told Notimex during the presentation of the documentary in Mexico City in 2016.
Eight years later, the documentary, recently available on YouTube, was presented again at the Autonomous University of Nuevo León and in the halls of the Cervantes Institute in Warsaw, on the occasion of the Polish reporter's birthday anniversary, reported El País.
Over 30 minutes, Chrzanowska shows her particular vision of the journalist of a thousand battles, who died in 2007, through interviews with those who were his students, friends and acquaintances, including renowned Mexican journalists such as Elena Poniatowska.
"I wasn't looking for sensational things, as some biographies are made nowadays, where they always touch on very personal, unkind topics. My interest was to talk more about my past, let's say from my adolescence, when I discovered Kapuscinski's reports and books, and they made me want to become a documentary filmmaker or dedicate myself to cinema. It was also like a path with the historian — who was a historian by training — from my high school to Mexico," the filmmaker told El País.
The winner of the Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities in 2003, Kapuscinski, who lived on 12 war fronts and traveled around the world as a reporter, was in Mexico on two occasions — the first was in 1968 as a correspondent for the Polish News Agency, and remained there for four years as chief correspondent for Latin America.
During this first stay he wrote The Soccer War, where he documented the war between Honduras and El Salvador in 1969.
The second trip was in 2000 to attend a symposium on "Journalism and new technologies," organized by the New Ibero-American Journalism Foundation directed by Gabriel García Márquez.