Black comedy, triggering obsessions, OG burlesque dancers and more

We had a steady flow of Hollywood-approved favorites being screened in Singapore, as well as a couple of film festivals taking place over the past few months. We've seen French animation works in April, films that address matters of physical, social and political borders at this year's Stories That Matter and feasted our eyes on Polish culture through film at the second Poland Shiok! Festival. Coming up next is the fourth edition of the Mexican Film Festival, happening on Jun 7-10, jointly presented by the Embassy of Mexico in Singapore, The Projector and NUS Office of Alumni Relations. There are more films in this year's selection, but here are five to get you started.
 

Me Estas Matando, Susana / You're Killing Me, Susana (Jun 7, 7:30pm)


What would you do if your partner decides to up and go to a whole different country without telling you? Would you go to the ends of the Earth to find him or her? In this dramatic rom-com, Eligio travels to a cold U.S. heartland to find his wife. And when he finally does, he finds that she's with another man.
 

Etiqueta No Rigurosa / No Dress Code Required (Jun 9, 2pm)


While we put our own country's LGBTI problems aside, we turn to Baja California in Mexico during a time when same-sex marriage was still illegal. This 2017 documentary follows two beauty professionals, Victor Aguirre and Fernando Urias, in their fight to get legally married in their state. All sorts of injustices arise, including the state's governor and mayor's opposition to their marriage based on religious grounds.
 

Bellas de Noche / Beauties of the Night (Jun 9, 4:30pm)


As they say, beauty is only skin deep. For others, they make a living out of it. Enter the mysterious, beautiful and glitzy world of burlesque, as this documentary follows some of the most famous Mexican burlesque stars of the '70s and '80s. Now in their 60s, they look to other meanings of beauty in search for a shot at happiness, in spite of the passing of time and lost youth.
 

Las Hijas de Abril / April's Daughter (Jun 9, 8pm)


While it seems like a typical absentee mother and rebellious daughter, broken family-type of drama, it's actually way darker. The film tells the story of 17-year-old Valeria who has gotten pregnant after intimacy with her boyfriend, but doesn't tell her mother. But she shows up at her place anyway, after Valeria's sister calls to let her know. For a while, it seems like all is well, until her baby is finally born; that's when things seem to go south.
 

Hilda (Jun 10, 4:30pm)


Just going by the trailer, we know this is not going to be an easy film to digest. It's been given a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes and gleaming praises from critics. This black comedy film, based on a 1999 play by French writer Marie NDiaye, is an affecting piece that explores and critiques the politics of race and classes in Mexico. Hilda, a young woman who begrudgingly works as a maid for a wealthy Mexican family, inadvertently triggers Mrs Lemarchand to the point of insanity, making her obsessed with trying to include Hilda in the family.