Three Oscar wins for “Roma” resonates across Latin America

Latin America

At the Academy Awards, Director Alfonso Cuaron took home three Oscars for his film, “Roma.”

The movie’s story is resonating in not only Mexico, but also across Latin America.

CGTN’s Franc Contreras reports from Mexico City.

Roma spelled backward becomes the Spanish word, Amor – meaning Love. And that’s exactly what a Mexico City crowd expressed Sunday at an event, to celebrate 10 Oscar nominations for “Roma.” An event organized by the film’s director, Alfonso Cuaron. Fans attended from across Mexico and Latin America.

Backstage at the concert to celebrate the 10 nominations for "Roma"

Backstage at the concert to celebrate the 10 nominations for “Roma.”

People in the crowd said the success of the film revealed aspects of Mexican culture never before seen in world cinema.

18-year-old Diego Martinez considers Cuaron’s film a masterpiece that pries open issues of racism and class, seldom publicly discussed in Mexico. “In Mexican society, domestic workers are often treated badly. They are not well-paid. So this film generates a consciousness that gives us a better idea of who these people are and speaks about the quality of their work,” Martinez said.

Cuaron made history twice on Sunday night. Roma became the first ever Mexican film to win an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Cuaron also become the first person ever to win both Director and Cinematography awards for the same project. With his Oscar for Best Director – he also becomes the fifth Mexican Director in six years to capture that coveted prize.

“I want to thank the Academy for recognizing a film centered around an indigenous woman. One of the 70 million domestic workers in the world without work rights, a character that has historically been relegated in the background of cinema. As artists our job is to look where others don’t,” the director said in his acceptance speech.

“Roma” is a semi-autobiographical film set in the early 1970s, in a Mexico City neighborhood called Colonia Roma. It focuses on the life of an indigenous woman, based on a domestic worker in Cuaron’s real-life childhood home.

At a park in Mexico City’s Roma neighborhood, hundreds of people turned out for a public screening of the Academy Awards ceremony. Some felt disheartened when Roma did not win the top prize for Best Picture. Others said Roma’s success brings dignity to all Latin Americans. “I was filled will great pride. Mexico is doing so much in the movie industry and I hope that one day Colombia can celebrate the same,” Valeria Montoya, a Colombian citizen, said.

And there’s an image circulating on social media across the United States. The artist, Lalo Alcaraz, said he created it to celebrate the presence of an indigenous woman at the Oscars, and to push back against bigotry everywhere.