Pedro Infante. Se sufre, pero se aprende. Luces y sombras de un mito
by Francisco Javier Millán
The Guanajuato International Film Festival began its activities big-time for this 20th edition with the presentation of the book Pedro Infante. Se sufre, pero se aprende. Luces y sombras de un mito, written by renowned Spanish journalist Francisco Javier Millán Agudo. Using Casa del Mayorazgo de la Canal as the venue for this literary encounter, the author was joined by critic and film scholar José Antonio Valdés, as well as GIFF’s President and co-founder Ernesto Herrera.
The event began with some warm words from GIFF’s Executive Director Sarah Hoch, who aggrandized this magnificent and laudable literary work and its exhaustive research process, which took two years. Minerva Solano, director of Arts in Sinaloa, took the podium to express her profound admiration and respect for one of the greatest histrionic figures not only of Sinaloa, but the whole country. It’s worth mentioning that this book is made possible by a solid collaboration between the states of Guanajuato and Sinaloa. Guanajuato’s Secretary of Tourism Fernando Olivera Rocha took the microphone to acknowledge the strenuous effort to make this book presentation and GIFF in general a success, on behalf of himself and the Governor of Guanajuato.
2017 marks the 100th Anniversary of the birth of this undeniable referential figure of the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema Pedro Infante; a legendary actor who triumphed through iconic characters and sublime performances that helped him transcend the screens and remain in the collective memory of an entire country. In honor of this milestone, Javier Millán, supported unconditionally by his wife Nora Leticia Mayorga, put pen to paper and submerged himself in the world of the man also known as “El Ídolo de Guamúchil”.
Millán may not consider himself devoted to Pedro Infante, but his intentions are clear and his sharp research on the subject paints a faithful portrait of the actor and singer as well as the cinema he inhabited. This is why we find crude phrases, faint expressions and audacious comments about the artist; an exercise in reflection and critical distance to approach this immortal icon in a way that has never been done before.
During the presentation, José Antonio Valdés allowed us a glimpse into the writer’s wit, cunning and courage in writing about this big an icon from that point of view. He says this will be one of the most important books of its time; Se sufre, pero se aprende is not a work meant to thicken the number of works that idolize Infante. Quite the contrary, this work exposes the misogyny, the model of poverty and the figure of the “man” presented in the words of an audacious writer. If there is light in Infante, there are also shadows.