Archive of films Those Who Remain / Los que se quedan

2008, 96 min

Section: Documentary Films - Competition
Year: 2009

What does it mean to live in a Mexican village where half of the population has left to find work in the USA? What do parents go through who haven’t seen their children in years, or children who grow up without their fathers? Juan Carlos Rulfo (winner at the 2006 KV IFF with In the Pit) and Carlos Hagerman present a decades-old problem from the perspective of those left behind.


What does it mean to live in a Mexican village where half of the population has left to find work? What do parents go through who haven’t seen their children in years, or brothers and sisters who grow up without their fathers? The issue of Mexican emigration to the USA is handled relatively often in feature and documentary films, but few moviemakers concentrate on those who merely watch as their relatives leave. Who records their melancholy memories and helpless sorrow, their positive expectations and fond dreaming? Half-finished houses and untilled fields bear silent witness to a reality permeated with an intense feeling of loss. With emphasis on the authenticity of the everyday, the film’s creators put together a mosaic of the emotions and opinions of eleven men, women, and children from various regions of Mexico. "Instead of embarking on an odyssey, we decided to tell the story of Penelope and her eternal wait,” comments codirector Carlos Hagerman.

About the director

Juan Carlos Rulfo (b. 1964, Mexico City) graduated in communication sciences from Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, then in film direction from Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica. His feature documentary debut Del olvido al no me acuerdo (1999) was screened at festivals in Toronto, San Francisco, and at Sundance. A later film, In the Pit (En el hoyo, 2006), won at the Sundance festival and at the 41st Karlovy Vary IFF.

Carlos Hagerman (b. 1966, Mexico City) studied communications and then went on for a masters in film direction at New York University. His short films, commercials, and video installations have won numerous awards. Filmography: La manifestación del concepto (1991), Sisyphus (1994), The Storyteller (1995), Angels Don’t Know (1996), Ciudad (1999), El alma mexicana (2000), and Diminutos de calvario (2001).


La Sombra del Guayabo
Zamora 131-4 col Condesa, 06140, Mexico City
Tel: +52 55 555 486 18
Fax: +52 55 913 810 14

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Documentary Films - Competition
Director: Juan Carlos Rulfo, Carlos Hagerman
Dir. of Photography: Juan Carlos Rulfo
Music: Santiago Ojeda
Editor: Valentina Leduc
Producer: Nicolas Vale, Carlos Hagerman, Juan Carlos Rulfo
Production: La Sombra del Guayabo
Contact: La Sombra del Guayabo


Carlos Hagerman

Film Director / Producer


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