A provocative look at privilege, responsibility and one man’s ability to take the law into his own hands, “The Mayor” is an Errol Morris-style portrait of Mauricio Fernandez Garza, multi-millionaire mayor of San Pedro Garza Garcia, Latin America’s wealthiest — and on his watch, safest — municipality. The pic, by documakers Emiliano Altuna, Carlos F. Rossini and Diego E. Osorno, offers a key to understanding present-day Mexico, where politics, economic power and excessive violence mix. Doc fests and Latin broadcasters should take note.

An ultra-confident blowhard who enjoys the sound of his own voice, the mayor employs a secret “rough group” that pays for information. It enabled him to announce, at his commencement, the death of a drug cartel leader who threatened his life, a declaration that pre-dated the police discovery of the body. His magnificent hillside home contains several lavish ceilings purchased from William Randolph Hearst along with a vast and valuable collection of art and antiquities, and an arsenal of automatic weapons. News and archival footage alternates with long scenes of Fernandez Garcia speaking directly to the camera. A fine Philip Glass-like score furthers the Morris comparison.

The Mayor

Documentary - Mexico

  • Production: Produced by Bambu Audiovisual, Imcine-Foprocine with the support of Conaculta. Produced by Emiliano Altuna, Carlos F. Rossini. Directed by Emiliano Altuna, Carlos F. Rossini, Diego E. Osorno.
  • Crew: Camera (color, HD); editor, Pedro G. Garcia; music, Daniel Hidalgo; sound (Stereo 2.0), Emiliano Altuna, Edwin Culp; sound designer, Daniel Hidalgo, Jorge Angulo. Reviewed at Morelia Film Festival (competing), Nov. 7, 2012. Running time: 80 MIN.