“New Order”: in Mexico, a wealthy family wedding is suddenly caught up in a Communist coup which its own employees helped start
Michael Franco’s new film “New Order” (“Nuevo Orden”) confronts the viewer with a violent Communist revolution and coup d’etat of apparently all of Mexico. It is Maoist and personally vengeful in tone. (The rendering of letters backward when spelling the title or characters names says something.) It, for example, start off with a new social credit system. But it is corrupt enough to have invited the cartels to take their cuts by kidnapping and ransoming people attending a lavish wedding near the unspecified city.
The film starts with “the proles” (my term) invading a hospital and kidnapping rich patients to take them to “someplace better for them” and treat common people. Then the scene switches to a mountaintop villa wedding party, where the people are European, well, very white. A local capitalist is marrying his pure daughter Marianne (Naian González Norvind) to a slender, attractive dapper young man Alan (Darío Yazbek Bernal). But things go wrong quickly. The mom keeps going to the bedroom safe, and green paint comes out of the faucets. An older man (longterm former employee) hangs around and pesters everyone in the family for money for a heart valve operation to save his wife – and they do the best to acquiesce, as if they know they’d better.
But the first shooting at the wedding happens less than thirty minutes into the film, as some of the crowd is trying to take someone else to the hospital and meets roadblocks for the protesters. Soon, we realize that this is Portland on steroids, as every major city in Mexico is experiencing the same thing (no specific triggering event, like a police shooting, is mentioned). Many of the staff at the wedding are in on it, but most of the chaos is indeed external.
The movie gets increasingly graphic as to how the captured are treated. They focus on the women first, giving them numbers. But eventually we reach a scene where the prisoners are behind wire, naked, being sprayed. Two ransom payment attempts fail to get Marianne released. There is a scene where the capture are shot one at a time in the back of the head and cremated on the spot in a town square. At the end, all the rich people form the family are hung as the movie crashes to an end. Remember the movie “Hang ‘em High” in the early 80s?
I have this idea about “high personal agency”, and some of my personal concept of that means, how ift are you to deal with what life throws at you? Can you bond to others when you need to? Then can you deal with things if your “family group” really does have to pay for some collective sin? Relative equity is something that matters, even though it can stifle individualism. Seriously, the most successful people in our system have “paid their dues”, but not everyone. But this way of looking at things is far afield from “critical theory”. The methods of death in this film are numerous. When you have a peaceful death, normally your brain will review your life, a period which may seem indefinite to you (eternal life). If you are shot in the head, even that is taken away from you. The idea of violent revolution seems aimed at defeating whatever spiritual claim the targets have forever, and simply erase them. That ironically is one reason why I don’t jump into groups and espouse intersectionality.
As a young man, I found out quickly by onlooking the People’s Party of New Jersey just how vengeful the far Left can be. I understand that some people give the far Left more of a pass because of January 6, but the practical result of extremism on both sides is about the same.
The music can be compelling at spots, with quote of Shostakovich Symphony #11 in G Minor (Year 1905).
Picture: embed from Wikipedia, click for attribution, protest group Javier Sicilia, 2011, click for attribution.
Director, writer: Michael Franco
When and how viewed: Angelica Mosaic, 2021/5/23
Rating: R (would well have been NC-17)
Companies: Neon Films, The March Factory, Les films d’ici
(Posted: Sunday, May 23, 2021 at 5:30 PM EDT)