Cinema Guild is proud to present the U.S. theatrical release of 499, the fourth feature film by Mexican-American director Rodrigo Reyes. Reflecting on the 500-year anniversary of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in 2021, Reyes offers a bold hybrid cinema experience exploring the brutal legacy of colonialism in contemporary Mexico.
Winner of the Special Jury Prize in the international feature documentary competition at the 2020 Hot Docs International Documentary Festival, and winner of the Best Cinematography Award in the documentary competition at the Tribeca Film Festival, 499 opens on Friday, August 20 at BAM Rose Cinemas in New York City, followed by runs at the Laemmle Theaters in Los Angeles, and the Roxie Theater in San Francisco, before continuing on to a national rollout.
Through the eyes of a ghostly conquistador (played by newcomer Eduardo San Juan Breña), Reyes recreates Hernán Cortés’ epic journey from the coasts of Veracruz to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, the site of contemporary Mexico City. As the anachronistic fictional character interacts with real victims and subjects of Mexico’s failed drug wars, the filmmaker portrays the country’s current humanitarian crisis as part of a vicious and unfinished colonial project, still in motion, nearly five hundred years later.