Juchitán de las locas
directed by Patricio Henriquez
by Travis Mackenzie Hoover This documentary has a honey of a subject: a Mexican Zapotec town with a high tolerance for homosexuality. Unfortunately, it blows it when it takes a personal angle that obscures the town's inner workings. At first, the film gets your hopes up by showing Juchitan's relaxed nature--gays and the transgendered are treated with respect, women are given a high rank in society, and the Zapotec language is still spoken in a country where native languages are quickly disappearing. But Juchitan quickly shifts gears to follow several residents of the town, all of whom are male and none of whom give a real sense of how Juchitan society works. Some of these interview subjects are fitfully interesting. There seems to be little agreement on how one should lead one's sexual life--a professor seems to think that monogamy is sexual servitude, while a beautician thinks it's simply a matter of respect. And there is some reflection on the death of a local celebrity at the hands of homophobes, as well as the Catholic church's mishandling of the situation. But one doesn't really get a sense of the society that surrounds them, and while it looks like it might be a great place to raise children, it's in dire need of some socio-historical fleshing-out.