Bridgeman once again uses music as the chief vocabulary in his latest film, Hecho én Mexico (“Made in Mexico”), an energetic depiction of a country that is universal in its spectacular specificity. The film cuts an impressively wide thematic swath, addressing topics like love and lust, individuality and community, freedom and conformity. Bridgeman anchors these high-minded philosophical musings to the raw, kaleidoscopic details of the lives of everyday Mexicans. “There is madness there but most of the 110m Mexicans are just getting on with their day, dealing with the crisis of lost love or worrying about their mum or trying to earn a living,” Bridgeman wrote in a dispatch for the Huffington Post earlier this year. “These were the people I was going to meet. And we would create something beautiful together, I knew that.”
In Hecho én Mexico, the creation of music is a rite of human connection. Native musicians perform in front of the camera in a range of settings — a mountain top, a subway car, near train tracks — and their sets harmonize and bleed together, as though everyone is contributing to a single opus echoing across cultures and generations. The film barrels forward in a whirl of thumps, claps, cries, and vibrato, occasionally coming up for air to show segments of interviews with thinkers whose carefully considered statements of intellect can seem, comparatively, to lack the emotional punch of the music. The dizzying heterogeneity of Hecho én Mexico has an effect similar to that of the hem of a dress spinning too wildly to follow: the beauty resides in the rainbow blur.