"Super Amigos" on Hulu: Social Commentary

Mexican wrestlers, in complete costume, working in the community to solve social problems

By Se Fija! Online
Published on LatinoLA: July 29, 2011

"Super Amigos" on Hulu: Social Commentary

If you logged onto Hulu the other day, you'd have seen something rather‘«™odd‘«™featured in its rolling "look at me!" entries right up top: You'll see Hulu urging you to watch Arturo Perez Torres' 2007 "documentary," "Super Amigos," about‘«™

‘«™well, it's about Mexican wrestlers, in complete costume, working in the community to solve social problems, like gentrification, homophobia, and environmental destruction.

Mexican wrestlers‘«™progressive politics‘«™and it's dead serious.

Mexican culture as seen in the U.S., and by extension much of U.S. Latino culture, is puzzling on its best day. Filmmakers, writers, performers want to be taken seriously, and deserve to be‘«™and yet so much of the most visible content from Mexico is wildly over-the-top, like telenovelas, slapstick comedy and‘«Űof course‘«Űthe joyful insanity of Mexican wrestling. So when you see "Super Amigos" touted as Hulu's "Pick of the Day," you have a tendency to wince. Look at the picture: half a dozen big, fat guys in silly costumes, complete with capes and masks, "battling evil" in the squared circle. It's like a throwback to the 1960's "camp" Batman, about as far away from "Batman Begins" as you can get. That's "Lucha Libre" for you.

But it's more than that. "Super Amigos" is really a rather amazing work by Mexican writer, designer, and filmmaker Arturo Perez Torres that is not just a parody a la Spinal Tap. Yes, it's bizarre beyond words to see "Super Barrio", in his bright red costume and silver cape, sitting down with a desperately poor family to help them figure out how to avoid being evicted, along with 30 other families, by a landlord bent on gentrifying their building. It's equally weird to see that family's blind abuela treat him with automatic respect and authority‘«Űlike, you know, you have superheroes stopping by la casa to talk about urban economics and social activism all the time. And it can make one a bit woozy to see these crazy wrestler-types calling themselves "Super Animal" (for animal rights), Ecologista Universal, Super Barrio (fair housing, see above), Fray Tormenta (poverty) and Super Gay (guess), saving Mexico City and the whole damn planet and wrestling bad guys like "Homophobia" and "The Matador."

As one of the on-the-street people say, "This is not a joke; this is not a prank. They're not clowns. They are human beings, fighting against inequality, against the authorities that don't keep their‘«™read more on Se Fija! Online

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