FQ Columnist Paul Julian Smith traces the changes in queer Mexican cinema since the 1990s and asks: What does it mean for a film to be both queer and mainstream? Recent Mexican features with lesbian, gay, and trans themes pose this question. They are audience-friendly genre movies, either romantic comedies or thrillers, naturalistic in style, apolitical in attitude, and commercially produced in the hope of exhibition in theaters. Reaching out through social media to a queer community of viewers, they also seek to connect closely with their audience. Smith suggests that a new corpus of queer films is emerging that may be premature in rejecting the political and artistic radicalism of earlier Mexican queer cinema. The great virtue of these new queer films, however, is that they aim to connect with an audience beyond the art house that needs—in these changing, challenging times—to see this newly visible community represented on the big screen.

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