In this surreal fantasy, impoverished laborer Macario (Ignacio López Tarso) goes hungry to help provide for his family, but he dreams about eating a whole turkey on his own. One day, his dream seems to be coming true: His wife steals a turkey and Macario is excited to eat it by himself. When a hungry God and Devil ask for a piece of meat, Macario refuses and shares his meal only with Death. But saving the starving Grim Reaper results in unexpected consequences.

This much-praised genre classic is an adaptation of Ben Traven’s short story, based on a Brothers Grimm fairy tale. With his penchant for tragic heroes, director Roberto Gavaldón invents a fantastic vision in order to place his protagonist in a perilous situation. The black-and-white photography of cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa constructs a surreal atmosphere, while at the same time reflecting the rural realism of Mexico. Macario earned the first Academy Award nomination for a Mexican film in the foreign-language category and became a celebrated classic of Mexican cinema.

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Roberto Gavaldón
Spanish with English subtitles
Running Time
90 minutes
Digital, B/W