When Eufrosina Cruz Mendoza ran for mayor of Santa Maria Quiegolani, a small, primarily Zapotec district in Oaxaca, Mexico, her 2007 victory was annulled because she was a woman. Luciana Kaplan’s stirring, well-crafted docu “Eufrosina’s Revolution” shows how this setback transformed Cruz Mendoza into a grassroots activist for the rights of women and indigenous communities. Nonfiction, women’s and human-rights fests should celebrate this inspiring portrait of a vigorous campaigner for political and social change, while academics will be fascinated by the light it sheds on “uses and customs” law of the Oaxacan constitution.
An articulate subject, Cruz Mendoza explains the Quiego Civil Assn. through which she works to bring mandated government services and new development programs to her region. Kaplan follows as she visits isolated mountain communities, holding educational events and following up on projects. Interviews with Cruz Mendoza’s parents and sister as they go about their traditional lives demonstrate how different her path is from theirs. Atmospheric lensing lends bigscreen polish, while versatile composer Daniel Hidalgo Valdes’ native-instruments score reps another plus.