Mexico City is hard to capture from a single perspective: its food, art, music, and culture converge into a wild, chaotic, and awe-inspiring mix of sights and sounds. To help you get a grasp on the city before you go, we’ve gathered the best documentaries about the Mexican capital.
Want to discover the best of Mexico City with a small group of like-minded travelers? Join Culture Trip’s five-day adventure in the Mexican capital, which includes a chance to watch the high-flying antics of the lucha libre, a visit to Frida Kahlo’s house and a private tour of a local food market.
Mega Cities: Mexico City (2009)
The Mexico City episode from the Mega Cities series by National Geographic is admittedly a little old school. But it provides an excellent insight into the geography of the capital and why it’s so susceptible to natural disasters. Be warned, some of the photos from the 1985 earthquake are intense.
The chinampas (floating gardens) of Xochimilco are important, historic and endangered. The short documentary Reflexión introduces you to this beautiful and forgotten natural side of the capital and why we should all care about protecting these ancient Aztec floating gardens.
World’s Busiest Cities: Mexico City (2017)
In theWorld’s Busiest Cities episode on Mexico City, BBC reporters Dan Snow, Anita Rania and Ade Adepitan discuss and dissect the struggles of the capital, from maintaining clean water to the upkeep of the streets. It also looks into how the massive metropolis functions from day to day.
The Life and Times of Frida Kahlo (2005)
Before visiting Mexico City, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the capital’s most famous resident. The Life and Times of Frida Kahlo by PBS tells the story of this fascinating, revered artist. It’s essential watching before you tour Casa Azul in the Coyoacan neighborhood – her family home and now a museum dedicated to her life and works.
Super Amigos (2007)
Super Amigos is a comic documentary telling the stories of five superheroes who have donned Mexican lucha libre masks and, instead of hitting the ring, head to the streets. These masked men fight injustice, prejudice, and corruption with the light-hearted attitude of a man in tights.
Chef’s Table: Enrique Olvera (2016)
Chef’s Table dedicated an episode to Mexican star chef, Enrique Olvera. It gives you a taste of the culinary scene in the capital and an insight into one of the leading gastronomic stars in Mexico. Watch before you visit Olvera’s Pujol, one of the top restaurants in the world.
Road to Roma (2020)
In this accompaniment to the 2018 Oscar-winning movie Roma, director Alfonso Cuarón lays out his artistic vision and process. The behind-the-scenes look at the film may have limited appeal if you’re not a film fanatic, but seeing how he recreated his memories of 1970s Mexico City – and more specifically the Roma nighborhood – is fascinating.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
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