Review: ‘The Toledo Report’

The colorful ife of artist/political activist Francisco Toledo is energetically depicted in docu.

The colorful career and life of artist/political activist Francisco Toledo is energetically depicted in Albino Alvarez’s nonfiction portrait, “The Toledo Report.” As befits Alvarez’s simpatico approach, Toledo’s story is framed through the theme of the artist’s series of self-portraits as an ape (in tribute to Kafka’s tale “A Report to an Academy”). Clever bits of animation and wide-ranging coverage of places and people in Toledo’s life round out a satisfying if minor docu. Inactive fest life doesn’t augur well for pic’s prospects.

Raised by a poor Oaxacan family, Toledo blossomed as an artist in Paris and was visibly influenced by Albrecht Durer’s school of bold etching. As some on-camera commentators note, Toledo is better known in Europe than in the New World, but his balance of art-making and activism (both generously shown here) is prototypically Latin American in attitude. Whether fighting for a political alternative to Mexico’s once-omnipotent PRI party, or battling to ban a McDonald’s in Oaxaca’s old quarter, Toledo has never allowed art to consume his life. Alvarez’ deliberately achronological structure can be dizzying, but it does convey a wonderfully varied career.

The Toledo Report

Mexico

Production

A Canana presentation of a Lo Otro Producciones/Grupo Pegaso/Casa Lamm production. Produced by Germaine Gomez Haro. Executive producer, Martin Burillo. Directed, written by Albino Alvarez.

Crew

Camera (color/B&W, DV), Martin Boege, Angel Camacho; editor, Omar Guzman; music, Steven Brown; animation, Diez y Media. Reviewed at Los Angeles Film Festival (Documenting Mexico), June 20, 2010. (Also in Guadalajara, Morelia film festivals.) Running time: 84 MIN.

With

Francisco Toledo, Carlos Monsivais, Elena Poniatowska, Roberto Doniz, Peter Bramsen. (Spanish, English dialogue)
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading