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Julio Bracho

Julio Bracho, Distinto amanecer (Another Dawn), 1943, 35 mm, black-and-white, sound, 106 minutes. Julieta (Andrea Palma).

THE FUTURE OF CINEMA STUDIES demands an expansion of the past. Take the case of Julio Bracho (1909–1978), who was reintroduced to the world with a seven-film tribute at last October’s Morelia Film Festival in Mexico. Once that country’s most esteemed director, Bracho is nearly unknown outside his native land. (None of his films seem to have been represented in the scores of clips on view in the recent “Mexique 1900–1950” show at Paris’s Grand Palais.)

Bracho’s reputation has been eclipsed in Mexico as well—not least because the many movies he directed during the last two decades of his career appear to have been mediocre at best. However, throughout the 1940s, a period when few European films were imported to Mexico, Bracho filled the void with a series of ambitious genre films and literary adaptations.

His strongest movies include an adaptation of a nineteenth-century novel

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