el principioEl principio
The Beginning
Directed by Gonzalo Martínez Ortega
Mexico, Drama, 1972
148 min, Color

Cast: Fernando Balzareti, Narciso Busquets, Sergio Bustamante, Andrés García, Patricia Aspíllaga, Aurora Clavel


Mexico is in the midst of Revolution when the protagonist returns after studying in Paris to find his native town in Chihuahua occupied by Francisco Villa’s revolutionary forces. He visits his deserted home and remembers people and events from his adolescence that provide glimpses of pre-Revolutionary society under dictatorship: his uncle, the chief of police; his sister’s involvement with a liberal political association; bathing with the girls from a local brothel; a labor strike that ended in a massacre. Returning to the present he discovers that his father has been assassinated and, in the company of his father’s former servant, joins the revolutionary movement.




About Gonzalo Martínez Ortega:

Born in Ciudad Camargo, Chihuahua in 1934, Martínez Ortega studied theater with Seki Sano and acting with Carlos Ancira, before embarking to the ex-USSR in 1969 to study film at VGIK in Moscow. Upon his return to Mexico, he worked as screenwriter and assistant director in various productions, and began producing historical TV series.

His first work as director was in the segment Tú (You), which was part of the 1970 trilogy of short films Tú, Yo, Nosotros (You, Me, Them), in collaboration with directors Juan Manuel Martínez and Jorge Fons. His first feature film, El principio (The Beginning, 1972), won the Mexican Academy Award for Best Film, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. After directing the film El hombre de mandolina (1982), he moved on to a prolific career as a television producer, writer and director. Gonzalo Martínez Ortega died in June of 1998 in Mexico City.