Cleveland International Film Festival } March 29 – April 9, 2017 Presented by Dollar Bank

The Mexican Suitcase


Year: 2011
Run Time: 86 minutes

The Mexican Suitcase
The Mexican Suitcase
The Mexican Suitcase
The Mexican Suitcase

Over 500,000 people died during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s; a further 200,000 fled, many of them to Mexico. THE MEXICAN SUITCASE takes us on a journey to the past, by way of newly discovered photographs from the war that transcend memory and resurrect an era. Robert Capa, David "Chim" Seymour, and Gerda Taro were idealistic young chroniclers of the war in Spain whose negatives comprise the Mexican Suitcase. Feared lost but rediscovered in 2007 in Mexico City, the suitcase consists of handmade cardboard cases containing previously unseen rolls of film. The cases were likely constructed by the photographers' Paris-based assistant, who wrote information about the precious negatives inside and sent them on their way. The film traces the fortuitous journey this suitcase—and many exiles—took, from Spain to Paris to Marseille, then by boat to Mexico. The extraordinarily affecting images shown here will serve as vital documents of the era for generations to come. As one elderly exile notes, "You can't build a future without your memories." (In English, Spanish, and Catalan with subtitles) – B.B.

The Mexican Suitcase

CIFF36 Screenings

Tower City Cinemas

Monday, March 26, 2012 at 5:30 PM

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Cinema en Español
Standing Up Competition

Trisha Ziff

Nicolas Duval-Adassovsky, Laurent Zeitoun, Yann Zenou

Olivier Nakache, Éric Toledano

Mathieu Vadepied

Dorian Rigal-Ansous

Principal Cast
François Cluzet, Omar Sy

Director Bio
Trisha Ziff is originally from London but works in Mexico. She is a curator of photography and a Guggenheim scholar who founded a photography and film workshop in Northern Ireland. Trisha discovered the Mexican Suitcase and brought it to the International Center of Photography in New York, which was founded by Robert Capa's brother Cornell.

Select Filmography
"Chevolution" (2008), THE MEXICAN SUITCASE (2011)

Print Source
Questions? >


Check out our FAQs for answers to common questions about entering the film festival.

Become A CIFF Member >

Become A CIFF Member

We have seven different levels of membership to choose from, so find the one that best fits your film appetite!

Sign up for our email newsletter

  • facebook
  • twitter
  • instagram
  • youtube
  • flickr
  • foursquare