Session 7: Nuria Giménez Lorang – My Mexican Bretzel

My Mexican Bretzel, Nuria Giménez Lorang, Spain, 2019, digital, 72 minutes, English

Watch the film: My Mexican Bretzel can be viewed anytime between 25 March and 3 April via the Essay Film Festival online screening room. LINK HERE.

Live event: join us for a live discussion with filmmaker Nuria Giménez Lorang, who will be in conversation with Julia Martos Ramirez, chaired by Janet McCabe. 30 March 2021, 17:00 — 18:00.

JOIN HERE at 17.00:

The award-winning feature, My Mexican Bretzel, tells the intimate life of a well-to-do housewife, Vivian Barrett. Edited entirely using home movies, this lyrical found-footage film reveals the private world of a financially secure and successful marriage in Switzerland from the 1940s through to the 1960s. Gradually revealed in the abundant use of archive material (home movies, diaries) is a deeply affective melodrama where nothing is quite as it seems. Moments of marital joy recorded by husband Léon in the glorious colours of mid-twentieth-century home movies are overlaid with Vivian’s diary entries told in a captivating soundscape. A beguiling cinematic artifice is constructed, combining a genuine family archive with the fictional ‘Vivian Barrett’s diaries’, as the filmmaker, Nuria Giménez – and to what extent only becomes clear at the end – asks: what is film but an illusion?  

As the film follows the couple skiing in the Alps or sailing around the Mediterranean, their story become ever more unreliable, if not highly unlikely. In such an affective move, Giménez’s first feature, and winner of the Found Footage Award at the 2020 International Film Festival Rotterdam, explores storytelling in its search for invisible women, both real and fictional. My Mexican Bretzel seeks truth through lies and fiction while demonstrating how audio-visual strategies of appropriation can be mobilised to position women’s often hidden subjectivities within official history. 


Docs in Orbit (podcast): Episode 05 – My Mexican Bretzel with Nuria Giménez

Mike Hoolboom: Nuria Giménez