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Happy Cinco De Mayo! 13 Excellent Films From Mexican Directors

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    You know you're having margaritas tonight, but do you actually know why? Today is Cinco de Mayo, which commemorates Mexico's 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. And while few will begrudge your decision to celebrate at your local taqueria, wouldn't it be nice to dig a little deeper?

    Turning to Mexican cinema is one place to start. You're no doubt familiar with the "Three Amigos," filmmaker friends Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and Guillermo del Toro. Iñárritu, after all, just won an Oscar for directing The Revenant, the same award he won in 2015 for Birdman, and which Cuarón picked up in 2014 for Gravity. In 2007, Del Toro picked up an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Pan's Labyrinth, and has been delighting us with action and horror fare like Hellboy and Chronos.

    Those works are just a handful of the compelling films Mexican filmmakers have given us. Inside, you'll discover more, from Hollywood blockbusters to subtitled art-house favorites. These stories capture such universal themes as love, crime, and, yes, hot, hot sex so well that any film buff worth his or her salt will be scouring Netflix in no time. Enjoy!

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    Los Olvidados (The Young and the Damned) (1950)
    Surrealist Luis Buñuel, famed for controversial classics like Belle du jour and Viridiana, was born in Spain but became a naturalized Mexican citizen. Among the films he made in his adopted country is this bleak portrayal of street children in Mexico City.

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    Como agua para chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate) (1992)
    Alfonso Arau directed this cinematic adaptation of Laura Esquivel's popular 1989 novel. The story incorporates magical realism as it follows a young woman who must sacrifice true love for the sake of her family, but uses her cooking to convey her true feelings.

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    Sexo, pudor y lágrimas (Sex, Shame & Tears) (1999)
    This film was box-office hit in Mexico. From director Antonio Serrano, it stars Oscar nominee Demián Bichir as a blond lothario caught up in his friends' rocky relationship.

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    Amores Perros (2000)
    You may have seen 21 Grams and Babel, but the first film in Alejandro González Iñárritu's so-called Trilogy of Death is the best, no matter how overlooked it is. Like the other two films, Amores Perros tells the story of a group of characters bound only by a random occurrence.

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    Y Tu Mamá También (2001)
    Alfonso Cuarón's dramedy about two friends besotted with the same woman grossed $13 million in the U.S. — a significant sum for a foreign-language film. You might remember it for its steamy threesome scene, and yes, it's also responsible for your lingering crushes on Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal.