Movies have got us used to historical dramas forever and there are practically true-life dramas for every story, or at least for almost everything. The dance of 41 – 95% is a film that brings freshness to this section of the seventh art by shedding light on a crucial moment in the LGBTQ + history of Mexico, fulfilling the role of other period dramas by taking the audience not only to an attractive story but to the experience of what it would have been like to live in the country at that time.
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This film had reached theaters in November 2020 and despite the pandemic it debuted in the top 3 of the national box office according to the National Chamber of the Cinematographic Industry (Canacine) and finished within the top 10 of Mexican films in 2020 (via El Financiero), which was good considering that the attendance to cinemas by the public dropped drastically, in addition to the fact that there were also few cinemas that received people. Now the tape is available for the national and international market thanks to the distribution of Netflix, which has made it possible for a greater number of people to have it at their fingertips.
The dance of 41 – 95% debuted in the streaming service’s catalog on May 12 and has currently positioned itself as the number 1 movie. Directed by David Pablos, the story starring Alfonso Herrera and Emiliano Zurita presents Ignacio de la Torre in its plot (Alfonso Herrera), a man who marries Amada Díaz (Mabel Cadena), the daughter of Mexican President Porfirio Díaz (Fernando Becerril). According to the plot, Ignacio’s career is on the rise and hopefully his new status as the president’s son-in-law will help push him into new territory.
As her marriage begins and her career takes off, Ignacio is also falling in love with another man. Ignacio brings Evaristo Rivas (Emiliano Zurita) into the fold with a group of men who meet regularly for fun, sex, and entertainment. While it initially appears that Ignacio is able to keep their lives separate, the increased suspicions and espionage of his wife Amada, who does not hesitate to involve her father and brother in the process, results in his double life being exposed.
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Pablos’s film portrays one of the most famous scandals in the country, which occurred during the presidency of Porfirio Díaz, a Mexican politician and military man who held office for several decades. The Dance of the 41 was a police raid carried out in November 1901, which occurred in the Tabacalera neighborhood of Mexico City, where a men’s dance was taking place. The participants were a total of 42 men, 21 of them dressed as women, of which a total of 41 were arrested, which is where the name comes from.
This fact became a scandal that was replicated by the Mexican press at the time despite the government trying to hide it. The reason for this is the men who were arrested for being in the place belonged to the upper class of Porfirian society, but there was also Ignacio de la Torre, who is played by Alfonso Herrera in the film, the man who was the then son-in-law of President Porfirio Díaz.
Meetings of this type were frequently held in the country, but always clandestinely because at the time discrimination was much greater and sexual diversity was condemned by the people. On many occasions these were justified as costume parties because some of the men dressed as women, and the participation of upper class people in these types of events was common.
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