Mixing fictional and nonfictional elements, 499 is a creative documentary that explores the brutal legacy of colonialism in contemporary Mexico, nearly five-hundred years after Cortez conquered the Aztec Empire.
Through the eyes of a ghostly conquistador, Reyes recreates Hernán Cortez’s epic journey from the coasts of Veracruz to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, the site of contemporary Mexico City.
As the anachronistic fictional character interacts with real victims of Mexico’s failed drug wars, the filmmaker portrays the country’s current humanitarian crisis as part of a brutal and unfinished colonial project, still in motion, 499 years later.
* Best Cinematography, Tribeca Film Festival
* Special Jury Award, Hot Docs
* Special Jury Award, EBS International Documentary Festival
* Official Selection, FIDBA
* Official Selection, Morelia Film Festival
* Official Selection, IDFA
* Official Selection, Camerimage
2020, 88 mins, 2.35
Producers: Inti Cordera & Andrew Houchens
Executive Producers: Carter Logan & Steve Holmgren
Co-Producer: David Felix Sutcliffe
Consulting Producer: Su Kim
Director of Photography: Alejandro “Jano” Mejía, AMC
Editor: Daniel Chávez Ontiveros
Supervising Editor: Andrea Chignoli
Music: Pablo Mondragón
Interview with Filmmaker Magazine