Mexico City.- Lázaro Cárdenas got out of his car, dispatched his driver and his bodyguard, and walked for hours with his right hand, Francisco J. Múgica, to chat about a decision he was about to make: expropriate the oil.
That historical passage is fresh from the actor Ianis Guerrero, as he has just filmed the scene for the movie 1938: When the Oil Was Our, by Sergio Olhovich, which follows the before, during and after that measure.
“Biopics and films that focus on a character sometimes fail to understand that we are telling a story, but here the film is called 1938, it portrays what happened in that year, how the oil conflict started, how Cárdenas, when he was in Tamaulipas as a General, realized the injustice.
“The oil companies owned the country and killed peasants to steal land and fields. He realized that they did not really declare profits and had an attitude of kings. Cárdenas made economic independence,” the actor reflected in an interview from the filming.
Olhovich put together the plot with Carlos Montemayor around 2002, and since then he has made his film, which also puts him back, as he had not made a feature film in 20 years.
“The interest comes from many years ago, my father was a petroleum engineer.
All my childhood and youth I lived closely with the oil issue, both in what is fought and when living with my father in camps in different countries, such as Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia.
“We have been very rigorous in producing what happened in that year. I have, as you say, oil in my blood. Since then I have been very interested in the problem not only in Mexico, throughout the world,” shared the director of En un Chiaroscuro of the Moon.
At a location in the Juárez neighborhood, Olhovich’s team even recreated discussions between foreign investors and how they took the news, as they wanted to address various points.
To play Cárdenas, Guerrero has not been able to resort to so many videos, as they are scarce, but through books he has delved into details, such as an injury he suffered while practicing horseback riding and how he modified his posture.
“The work I wanted to contribute is to make him human, to show the man who doubts. We are taking the bronze from the statues to make him a complex man. Cárdenas was very young when he made the decision, he was 43 years old, I was 40,” said the actor .
Olhovich considers that it is the ideal moment to remember that history, since Mexico must continue on the path of defending its resources.
“Now with the Government of AMLO and the Q4, they are trying again to be the state that owns the oil, it is a necessary and very positive act that coincides with much what happened in 1938.
“President Lázaro Cárdenas was a great patriot, a statesman, visionary, who understood that owning oil meant owning the country’s sovereignty. Oil and sovereignty go together, that’s what the film is about,” the director stressed. .
With the presidential permission
In previous six-year terms, Olhovich says that they gave him support, but in the end there were no funds for his film, something that contrasts with the current Administration, so cooperative that they will allow him to film in the National Palace.
“Filming in the National Palace is almost impossible, but President López Obrador is very interested in having the film made. He knows me, I know him, that has facilitated support. We have felt the opposite of what there was before, that it was an economic censorship. This is a left government and a left attitude is to expropriate and nationalize. “