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Mexican president celebrates Oscar recognition for “Roma”

Inhabitants of the town of Tlaxiaco, Mexico, birthplace of "Roma" star Yalitza Aparicio, follow the live broadcast of the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 24. EFE-EPA/Mario Arturo Martinez

Inhabitants of the town of Tlaxiaco, Mexico, birthplace of “Roma” star Yalitza Aparicio, follow the live broadcast of the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 24. EFE-EPA/Mario Arturo Martinez

EFE

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador offered congratulations Monday to the entire team behind the made-in-Mexico film “Roma,” which won three Oscars .

The week began “with good news,” he said during his daily morning press conference, hailing the film’s director, Alfonso Cuaron .

Sunday night’s gala in Hollywood saw “Roma” become the first Mexican feature to win the Oscar for best foreign film, while Cuaron took home the awards for cinematography and directing.

“It pleases me very much that a Mexican, that a team, a group of actors, professionals, have this recognition that is so important in cinema,” Lopez Obrador said.

He acknowledged in response to a question that he had yet to see “Roma,” but vowed to reach out personally to Cuaron and everyone else involved in the film, which tells the story of an indigenous domestic worker.

The leftist president said that lawmakers from his Morena party would present a bill in the Senate to ratify the International Labor Organization’s Convention 189 on the rights of domestic workers.

“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 in cinema,” Cuaron said Sunday night as he accepted the Oscar for best foreign film.

“As artists our job is to look where others don’t,” he said, reading from prepared notes.

Shot in black-and-white with dialogue in Spanish and the indigenous Mixtec language, “Roma” was released by streaming service Netflix, not a traditional studio.

“Roma” was nominated for the Oscar in 10 different categories, including best picture and a best actress nomination for Yalitza Aparicio, a Mixtec schoolteacher with no prior acting experience.

In five of the last six years, the Oscar for best director has gone to a Mexican.

The run started in 2014 with Cuaron, who won for “Gravity.” Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu took the honor in 2015 and 2016, for “Birdman” and “The Revenant,” respectively. Guillermo Del Toro was named best director in 2018 for “The Shape of Water.”


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