Five centuries since Cortés conquered the Aztec Empire, award-winning director Rodrigo Reyes brings to the screen one of the most powerful examinations of the systemic effects of colonialism in Mexico. Blending fictionalized elements with documentary, 499 follows a conquistador who embarks on a journey to retrace the destructive route the Spanish army took from the shores of Veracruz to Tenochtitlán (modern-day Mexico City). As past collides with present, he bears witness to his actions and hears the poignant stories of real people, getting to the root of the wave of violence that is overtaking contemporary Mexico. Told with outstanding cinematography and sound design, 499 leads audiences to confront the haunting echoes of colonization. What is the true impact of history in our lives today? And how can we stop the cycle of violence and right the wrongs of the past?
Rodrigo Reyes exploits a very creative concept to traverse a path of colonialism, parallels and tragedy.— Ricardo Gallegos · La Estatuilla
A hypnotic, devastating look at the scars of Latin American colonialism.— Nathanael Hood · The Young Folks