La Bestia


Film and 1-channel video installation
7:08 min
Camera: Maria Vedder
Sound: Jochen Jezussek
Editing: Maria Vedder and Manja Ebert
enabled through: EMARE-Mexico/European Media Art Network (EMAN)/Werkleitz Halle/European Commission 2012

The video shows in only one shot a train which drives towards the audience. It is similar to one of the first films in the history of cinematography, „Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat“ from the Lumière Brothers in 1895. Threatening slowly, the colossus moves into the image with 85 wagons and 2 locomotives. It is a notorious freight train in Mexico. Each day hundreds of people leave their poor countries in Central America to get to the USA. Crossing 3,500 km through Mexico, they travel on one of the most dangerous migration routes of the world. The majority of them stow away on this freight train, which is called „La Bestia“, the beast, because of the human lives on which it feeds. Not only do they die by falling off the roof of the wagon, but kidnappings, rapes and murders are common practice by the drug mafia.