While “lucha libre” might not be Mexico’s national sport, it is certainly treated as such. The locals gather every week facilities such as the Arena Mexico to cheer the Technicos (good guys or “babyfaces”) and boo for the Rudos (bad guys or “heels”). It is a world full of colorful characters who are played highly athletic men and women who put their bodies on the line every time they step into the squared circle. “Lucha Mexico,” made by filmmakers Alex Hammond and Ian Markiewicz, gives professional wrestling fans and non-fans a glimpse behind the spectacle, cultural significance of “lucha libre” and profiling some of the men and women who are passionate about what they do.
The world of professional wrestling can be quite colorful and “lucha libre” is no exception. Hammond and Markiewicz bask in the world of “lucha libre” as their cameras capture the glorious action in and out of the ring featuring competitors in colorful and unique outfits and masks. The filmmakers also gives viewers a peak behind the proverbial curtain as they certain things it takes become a Mexican wrestler whether it is training hard in the belly of Arena Mexico or traveling town to town in Mexico doing little shows that sometimes take place in a marketplace.
“Lucha Mexico” features interviews from the biggest stars in Mexican wrestling such as Blue Demon Jr., Sexy Star (who also wrestled for El Rey Network’s “Lucha Underground”) and El Hijo Del Perro Aguayo (who died in the ring earlier this year). However, the luchador who gets the most screen time in the documentary is Shocker, who call himself “1000% Guapo (handsome).” Hammond and Markiewicz not only help tells his story of how he came to become a professional wrestler, but they also happen to follow him at a time where he is undergoing some brutal rehabilitation from one of the many injuries he incurred in the ring. While he is not putting his headlocks on his opponents or training for his next match, he run his own restaurants “El Che Guapo” in Benito Juarez and Mexico City.
The world that “Lucha Mexico” capture may look artificial (or some will dare say fake) from an outsider’s perspective, but the film definitely shows that is nothing artificial or fake about the amazing things the men and women do inside the squared circle and the sacrifices they make to do what they love for a living.
“Lucha Mexico” is playing today at 4:45 p.m. at New York’s Bow Tie Cinema – Chelsea Cinemas (260 W 23 St) as part of DOC NYC 2015.