Sunday, September 12, 2010

Super Amigos documentary

Heroes in the Night's Bibliography's Greatest Hits

Are you looking for an interesting movie to watch on a Sunday evening? Let me highly recommend Super Amigos, which you can watch online here:

The film is about "social luchadors" of Mexico City- some early real life superhero entries. I wrote about the film briefly in the book, in Chapter 3: Early Prototypes. I wrote a section of that chapter about Super Barrio, who uses his persona to organize housing and labor rallies. This sidebar compliments that section-


Director Arturo Perez Torres reveals in his documentary Super Amigos (2007) that Super Barrio wasn’t Mexico City’s only “social wrestler.” Three others- inspired by Super Barrio- tackled a multitude of problems through the 80’s to the mid 2000’s.

Super Animal (along with a sidekick- Super Animalito) fought for animal rights, particularly against bull fighting. In the film Super Animal gets arrested trying to enter a bullfighting ring to challenge the matadors to fight him to the death instead of the bulls. In another scene, he dumps bull intestines and bones on the front stairs of City Hall during a city council session. He even has a Super Animal-mobile- a black VW bug with the outline of a bull painted on the hood.

Super Gay, sports a rainbow striped luchador mask. His origin is that he had a boyfriend that was beaten to death and after that his mission was to stand up to gay bashers. He makes appearances at gay pride events and works as a counselor to those who have suffered from homophobia. Ecologista Universal makes a great 200 mile pilgrimage by foot in the film and battles environmental destruction, protesting deforestation of pines for Christmas trees and wasteful packaging.

The documentary also features Fray Tormenta, who lived on the street as a child, but joined the seminary and became a priest. He also became a luchador wrestler in 1983. He wrestled in over 4,000 lucha matches and used the money he earned to fund two orphanages that he operates. He gives sermons in his gold luchador mask- a man of the cloth and the spandex.

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