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OBITUARIES / Passings / Servando Gonzalez Hernandez

Mexico's former official filmmaker

October 10, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Servando Gonzalez Hernandez, 85, a former chief documentary filmmaker for the Mexican government who may be best known in his home country for a work no one saw, died Saturday. The cause of death was not released, but Mexican newspapers reported that Gonzalez had cancer.

In 1968, he was working for the Mexican government when "a military type" asked him to set up six cameras around a Mexico City plaza and film the events, he later recalled.

What occurred was the Tlatelolco massacre, when soldiers opened fire on a crowd of demonstrators and -- by varying accounts -- 25 to 350 people died in one of the more controversial events in Mexican history.

Gonzalez told the Mexico City newspaper La Jornada last year that the man who hired him appeared after the raw film was developed and took it all away.

In 1965, Gonzalez released what became his best-known work abroad, the 1965 film "The Fool Killer" with Anthony Perkins and Dana Elcar. It wasn't the first Hollywood production by a Mexican director, but it was among very few at that time.

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