The year 2021 marks the 500-year anniversary of the Spanish Conquest of Mexico. 499 offers a bold, hybrid cinema experience, mixing non-fictional and performative elements with components of a road movie. Through the eyes of a ghostly conquistador, the director recreates Hernán Cortez’s epic journey from the coasts of Veracruz to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, the site of contemporary Mexico City. As the anachronistic fictional character interacts with real victims of Mexico’s failed drug wars, the filmmaker portrays the country’s current humanitarian crisis as part of a brutal and unfinished colonial project, still in motion, 499 years later. 87 minutes. Spanish with English subtitles.
Winner of the 2021 Latin American Studies Association Award for Best Film