Spectre of Bond movie animates Mexican parade

Floats with a death theme during Mexico City's Day of the Dead procession last Saturday inspired by the 2015 Bond movie Spectre.
Floats with a death theme during Mexico City's Day of the Dead procession last Saturday inspired by the 2015 Bond movie Spectre.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

MEXICO CITY • Thousands of people thronged downtown Mexico City over the weekend for a "traditional" indigenous procession held for the first time this year, inspired by a hit Hollywood movie.

The Paseo de Reforma, the grand boulevard of the capital city, was filled with revellers - locals and tourists - taking part in the procession inspired by the opening scene of the James Bond movie Spectre.

In the 2015 film, the British secret agent played by Daniel Craig goes after a villian through a parade featuring giant skeletons floating among people dancing with their faces painted as skulls.

Last Saturday's parade - staged by city elders inspired by the movie - started at the Angel of Independence monument and ended at the historic Zocalo Square. The procession tried to recreate the props and wardrobe from the movie, with thousands of volunteers dressed in skull and skeleton costumes, as well as traditional dress.

Musicians and dancers representing various regions across Mexico performed along the length of the procession.

The Day of the Dead is celebrated during Nov 1 and 2 every year, with Mexicans visiting cemeteries to pay respects to their late relatives, bringing them food and drink in a centuries-old tradition mixing pre-Hispanic and Catholic beliefs.

Those taking part in last Saturday's procession said they enjoyed the fete, even though it was imported from a make-believe world of celluloid.

"The truth is, it turned out to be quite nice," said retiree Alfredo Nunez, who attended the event with his wife, adult children and a granddaughter.

The authorities were hoping the parade would give a boost to local tourism, which it appears to have done. Officials said they expect to rake in at least US$52 million (S$73 million) from the event, and that hotel occupancy was at a brisk 80 per cent.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2016, with the headline 'Spectre of Bond movie animates Mexican parade'. Print Edition | Subscribe