Archive of films The Realm of Fortune / El imperio de la fortuna

1985, 135 min

Section: Tribute to Arturo Ripstein
Year: 2008

The first screenplay by Paz Alicia Garcíadiego was inspired by the story El gallo de oro (The Golden Cockerel) by writer Juan Rulfo. This, the second film adaptation of the rise and fall of Dionisio Pinzón, captures the atmosphere of magic realism, cockfighting and rural Mexico with its life of poverty and folklore.


Dionisio Pinzón looks after a cock wounded in the cockfighting arena known as the “palenque”. The animal rewards him with a series of victories, thanks to which his master becomes wealthy. His life changes when he meets the beautiful La Caponera, but he has to fight for her with the powerful Lorenzo Benavides. The two men come face to face in the cockpit and at the card table, the region’s two major vices. But, like gambling, love doesn’t always have to lead to ruin. The screenplay was based on the story by Mexican novelist Juan Rulfo, which has seen many screen adaptations. The first was written in 1964 by Gabriel García Márquez and Carlos Fuentes. After its various renditions, the story lost some of its insistent, magic-realist atmosphere, which however is re-evoked by Arturo Ripstein. He tells the story of a man whose life is influenced by a series of magical elements; these are not miracles in themselves, however, screenwriter Paz Alicia Garcíadiego added several details which, while not in the original story, detract from some of the plot’s realism but add to its mystery. The Realm of Fortune launched new Mexican cinema as it forged its path during the Eighties. Typical of this wave is the endeavour to break away from traditional melodramatic schemes, which the filmmakers achieve by highlighting poverty and by making references to mythology or the magic realism of ordinary life. Unappealing characters are convulsed in feverish passion while, at the same time, often turning away from traditional Christian values. Arturo Ripstein reflects this trend in his films, which embrace the aesthetics of hunger, destitution and decline.


IMCINE - Mexican Film Institute
, 03100, Mexico City
Tel: +52 55 5448 5300, +52 55 5448 5399

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Tribute to Arturo Ripstein
Director: Arturo Ripstein
Screenplay: Paz Alicia Garcíadiego podle námětu Juana Rulfa El gallo de oro / based on the story El gallo de oro by Juan Rulfo
Dir. of Photography: Ángel Goded
Music: Lucia Álvarez
Editor: Carlos Savage
Producer: Héctor López, Rafael Arrillaga
Production: IMCINE – Mexican Film Institute
Cast: Ernesto Gómez Cruz, Blanca Guerra, Alejandro Parodi, Zaidé Silvia Gutiérrez, Margarita Sanz, Carlos Cardán, Socorro Avelár
Contact: IMCINE - Mexican Film Institute


Arturo Ripstein

Film Director, Film Director

Alejandro Díaz San Vicente

Film Institution Rep.

Paz - Alicia Garcíadiego



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