During my childhood they told me a lot of stories about my grandfather Antolín Jiménez. He was always characterized as someone very successful, but nobody told me for what. They mentioned that he had made a great deal of money, but they omitted to tell me how. For me his figure had always an aura of admiration, respect and mystery. This film relates intimately my personal quest for understanding who my grandfather was, what he did and how that influenced my family and my country.

The idea of making a documentary film was born 4 years ago, when I discovered the personal archives of my grandfather: hundreds of photos and newspaper clippings in which he appears, a score of 8 mm film reels and dozens of slides. This is how I discovered that he fought side by side with Pancho Villa, that he was a master manson of 33rd degree, a Mexican Congressman and the president of the National Association of Charros. His most fascinating story relates that he recruited an army of 100.000 charros that was spread in 250 unities over the whole country to defend Mexico from a possible Nazi invasion during the Second World War. 59 clippings of national newspapers document that incredible feat. At the height of his professional career the spectator will get to know another side of his life, his human side, and the reason why this part of his story wasn't told in my family.

I started this project in 2010 with the support of the National System of Art Creators. It is my first feature film and it relies on the talent and advice of multiple friends that have broad experience in film industry. The cinematography is mainly realized by Carlos Hidalgo. In edition the documentalist Roberto Bolado was involved as well as Jorge García as supervisor. Among the mentors of this project are personalities like Guillermo Arriaga, Felipe Ehrenberg, Jesse Lerner and Martha Sosa. In music supervision I could count on the skills of Annette Fradera and the talent of characters like Lila Downs, Valentina and Juan Cirerol.

The documentary was cut in DocuLab in Guadalajara and on the working tables of DOCSDF, for what it also got the feedback of professionals like Lorenza Manrique, Everardo González, Christiane Burkhard, Sarah Minter, Mariana Rodrigues and Valentina Leduc among others. And certainly this film wouldn't have reached the movie theaters without the support in production by Joaquín Burgos and José Nacif, and in postproduction by Vanessa Hernandez and Carlos Morales.

Matria tells an unique story, which has been carefully developed so to convey it in the best way possible. The screenplay took me two years to write, due to the involving historiographical research, due to the revision and classification of my grandfather's archives I had to do, and for being able to understand the circumstances in which he lived and to follow his decisions. The filming needed approximately one year and a half, trying to interview as many voices as possible that had a connection to the story. The music remains in three axes: the archive, the reinterpretation and the creation of subtle atmospheres. The sound design is made by Javier Umpierrey and counts on the contribution of Jessica Herreman and Benjamin Shwartz.

Due to the density of information that I have accumulated during the development of this cinematographic project, and due to my skills as a multidisciplinary artist, the film will be accompanied by an exhibition and a publication. The publication uses the more than fifty hours of interviews that have been transcribed to 233 sheets of paper, so that the testimonies of the interrogated experts can give a better insight into the historical topics of the film. Included are also several of the almost 700 digitized documents of Antolín Jiménez's archive.

The exhibition tries to approach all those stories from another perspective, giving more emphasis on the collection of objects, on the tangible of the archives, on the reinterpretation and speculations about the story from the author's point of view, as well as a plastic exploration of different traditional techniques linked to the Mexican history. The intention is to launch the film and to open the exposition afterward. and finally to crown it all to present the book including the DVD. We'd like to inspire a new audience and attract its interest in the different spaces and formats of this artwork.

All for the motherland!

Fernando Llanos

Suadero conaculta cuervo
labo epost final
kungfu ia lilit
dvd expo

viva@matria.mx / info@fllanos.com / 52-55115709