The Spokeswoman
La vocera

Director: Luciana Kaplan
Mexico | 2020 | Spanish, Maya, Yaqui & Wixárica with English subtitles | 82 min | Documentary

*Geo-blocked for viewing in Canada only.

Join us during the festival for a conversation via VLAFF’s FACEBOOK LIVE with director Luciana Kaplan and with Carlos González García, a lawyer and member of the National Indigenous Council (and Marychuy’s husband). Sunday Aug 29 5pm


View IN-PERSON at The CinemathequeWednesday, Sept 1, 6:30pm
View ONLINE (from anywhere in Canada): August 26 – September 5

La Vocera is Luciana Kaplan’s highly anticipated story of María de Jesús “Marichuy” Patricio Martínez of the Nahua Nation, who in 2018 was the first Indigenous woman to run for president in Mexico. As a traditional healer and human rights activist, Marichuy is chosen by the National Indigenous Congress and EZLN as the spokeswoman to run as an independent candidate in order to bring national attention to the issues facing Indigenous nations across the country. Deeply embedded within Marichuy’s campaign, Kaplan is up close and personal throughout her journey as she travels across Mexico to gain support for her election and unify a country around Indigenous rights, the environment, and status of women. While she does not earn enough support to gain a ballot for the election, she accomplishes so much more as she leads a revolutionary movement, teaching new ways of understanding what progress in the world truly means.

Winner of Sundance Luminate Grant

The Spokeswoman charts the struggle faced by Indigenous populations in Mexico for equal rights and to have their concerns represented in government. Many rely on the land to survive but corrupt local officials, drug cartels and other nefarious interests are always looking at ways to take it from them. Kaplan’s camera follows Marichuy as she travels around the country, listening to a diverse range of opinions and voices. Change takes time, especially with the amount of resistance from those with vested interests, but as The Spokeswoman illustrates there’s a determination to see this through to the very end.  ” – Rob Aldam, Backseat Mafia 2021

La Vocera es un acercamiento a María de Jesús Patricio Martínez (Marichuy), propuesta por el Concejo Indígena de Gobierno del Congreso Nacional Indígena para representarlos en este proceso.

A través de su mirada y reflexiones, el documental retrata los retos que ella y el Concejo Indígena de Gobierno enfrentan para llegar a las boletas electorales en el contexto de un país azotado por la violencia, el despojo y un alto índice de discriminación hacia las mujeres y los grupos indígenas. Durante su caminar, Marichuy recoge y vincula las luchas existentes en diversos territorios (Yaqui, Maya y Wixárika) dejando en evidencia la importancia de la resistencia de los pueblos indígenas para preservar la vida y sus costumbres.

Al final del camino, las preguntas que prevalecen: ¿Progreso? ¿Desarrollo? ¿Para quiénes y a costa de quiénes?

LUCIANA KAPLAN has dedicated her career to the making, teaching, and production of documentary film. She directed the Ambulante post-production grants and was coordinator of the Curso de Cine Documental of the Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica. She is currently a fellow of the Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte. Her films have won the Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (FONCA), support from IMCINE and EFICINE, and many important awards around the world, including the Al Jazeera Documentary Award at VLAFF and Best Documentary Film at the Los Cabos Film Festival for La revolución de los alcatraces (Eufrosina’s Revolution) (2013) and the award for Best Mexican Documentary at the Morelia Film Festival for Rush Hour (2017). For La Vocera, her third feature film, she won the Sundance Luminate Grant. She is currently making her fourth documentary feature A Treatise on Invisibility.