Screened as part of NZIFF 2007

The Violin 2006

El Violin

Directed by Francisco Vargas Quevedo

Filmed in luscious black and white against the backdrop of Mexico's peasant revolts of the 1970s, an elderly musician smuggles ammunition to guerrilla fighters armed only with his violin.

Mexico In Spanish with English subtitles
98 minutes

Director, Screenplay


Martín Boege Paré


Francisco Vargas Quevedo
Ricardo Garfias


Cuauhtémoc Tavira
Armando Rosas


Don Ángel Tavira
Dagoberto Gama
Fermín Martínez


Cannes (Un Certain Regard), Toronto 2006


Shooting documentary-style in luscious black and white, Francisco Vargas sets his remarkable first film against the backdrop of Mexico’s peasant revolts of the 1970s and their brutal repression by the military. Elderly musician Don Plutarco (Don Ángel Tavira) becomes involved when the army occupies his village and the precious munitions hidden there become inaccessible. Armed only with his violin Don Plutarco takes it upon himself to win the trust of the occupying commander. In exchange for playing for the troops, the commander allows Don Plutarco to tend his cornfield, while in reality the canny old-timer is slowly smuggling ammunition back to the guerrilla camp in his violin case. What follows is a tense game of cat-and-mouse between the two men that can only end in betrayal.

“Vargas striking and poetic film offers a plaintive cry on behalf of the oppressed… Tavira brings gravitas and humor to the role of an ancient who knows the struggle is eternal.” — Ray Bennett, Hollywood Reporter