"This 1976 Mexican feature is based on a reportedly real incident which took place in 1968. When a group of hikers happen upon a village governed by a paranoid and fanatical priest, they are labeled as communists and desecrators and are lynched by the bespelled townspeople." - Allmovie.com
Canoa hit me harder than most films.
After a recent run in with a serial killer in the corn fields in Indiana, I personally know that shit can hit the fan... Quickly. I realized that I, and anybody, could be one of those hikers.
On a less personal level, I was impressed director Felipe Cazals' use of various modes of narration throughout the film. At times, the film is shot like a mockumentary and several participants from the incident give a "tour" of Canoa to viewers. Other times, the film progresses in a traditional vouyeristic approach and the characters do not acknowledge the camera at all. Cazal skillfully blended the change of narrative into a solid product that tells an emotional story from both sides.
I feel that a general American Audience will not appreciate this film. For some, It comes off as a chessy 70s exploitation flick. However, I believe if this film was remade to tell the story of an American Civil Rights atrocity it would grab the attention of American Audiences.