“Dance of the Forty One”: A Double Life.

Dance of the Forty One

Ignacio de la Torre.

The police raid a high-society private party and arrest 42 men. Nineteen are found wearing lavish ball gowns. The arrested include key figures from Mexico’s ruling class, including one whose name and presence at the party is promptly erased from the record. The year is 1901.

Nature vs Society.

Dance of the 41″ examines the consequences of leading a double life. A double life that occurs when your natural impulses are at odds with the rules of the society you live in. Writer Monika Revilla and director David Pablos posit that the man in question was Ignacio de la Torre (Alfonso Herrera), the son-in-law of Mexican president Porfirio. And that he was homosexual.

Amanda.

Ignacio is married to the president’s daughter Amanda (Mabel Cadena) and has been appointed to congress. A great career awaits him.

Dance of the 41

Evaristo.

However, one night, he meets Evaristo (Emiliano Zurita, in a heartbreaking performance), a young lawyer and he falls in love. Ignacio arranges for Evaristo (or “Eva” as he calls him) to be initiated into a secret, upper class, gay society called “Socratic Lovers”. Evaristo’s initiation is marked by a bacchanalian orgy which, as filmed by cinematographer Carolina Costa, is both erotic and seductive.

Fin de siècle upper class Mexico City.

The opulence of fin de siècle upper class Mexico City is so well captured by Pablos and Costa that the city gradually becomes the film’s fourth major character.

Dance of the 41

A Woman Scorned.

Pablos‘ other triumph is giving (almost) equal time to Amanda. Newly married to a husband who had no interest in her, she is desperately unhappy. A proud woman she will not go quietly, and it is she who initiates the events that will destroy them all. She is the archetypal beard. In “Dance of the Forty One” we witness the destruction of three souls when the forces of nature and norms of society do not line-up.

DANCE OF THE FORTY ONE” IS AVAILABLE FOR STREAMING ON NETFLIX

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