2 Nov

LIFE IMITATING ART

A centuries-old Mexican tradition has been transformed by James Bond

October 30, 2016
October 30, 2016

The latest James Bond film, Spectre, opens with a kinetic chase scene in Mexico City, with actors ripping through a massive Day of the Dead parade featuring ornate masks, drummers, giant puppets, and floats. As breathtaking as the scene was, it wasn’t necessarily culturally accurate.

With its blend of indigenous and Spanish traditions, Mexico’s Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, is traditionally a somber, though sometimes lively celebration spent with family by the graveside of departed loved ones. Food, drink, flowers, and mementos are left at altars in homes and cemeteries as people gather to remember loved ones.

But the interest generated by the 007 film encouraged local officials to bring the imagined Mexico to life.

“When this movie hit the big screen and was seen by millions and millions of people in 67 countries, that started to create expectations that we would have something,” Lourdes Berho, head of the Mexico Tourism Board, told the Associated Press.

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