The film is about a group of destitute children and their misfortunes in a Mexico City slum. El Jaibo escapes juvenile jail and reunites with the street gang that he leads. El Jaibo's gang attempts to rob a blind street musician. They fail at first, but later track him down, beat him, and destroy his instruments.
During a formal dinner party at the lavish mansion of Señor Edmundo Nobile and his wife, Lucia, the servants unaccountably leave their posts until only the major-domo is left. After dinner the guests adjourn to the music room, where one of the women, Blanca, plays a piano sonata. Later, when they might normally be expected to return home, the guests unaccountably remove their jackets, loosen their gowns, and settle down for the night on couches, chairs and the floor.
It is Wednesday, October 2, 1968, and a middle-class Mexican family is about to start the day. At breakfast, the older brothers, Jorge (Demián Bichir) and Sergio (Bruno Bichir) argue with their father Humberto (Héctor Bonilla). The boys are studying at the university and their father works at the Departamento del Distrito Federal (Mexico City's local Government). The argument begins when the father complains that the boys have long hair. The argument escalates and then they begin to argue that what the boys are doing is wrong, and that "no one should question the government". The boys say that the autonomy of the university was violated and that the government does things against the constitution. Their grandfather Roque (Jorge Fegan) (who fought the Mexican Revolution), says that "If they were on a real revolution, they would be executed". The younger siblings Carlos (Ademar Arau) and Graciela (Estela Robles), who study primary and secondary school, barely understand what the argument is all about, because of their young age. The boys then talk about the injustice of the government. Their prime example is the occupation of the U.N.A.M. and that some students hid in the bathroom, and their corpses were found the day before (October 1). The mother, Alicia (María Rojo) tries to calm down the situation and tells the boys to "come early and cut their hair". The boys jokingly state that Miguel Hidalgo had long hair (whether this is true or not is unknown, for no paintings of him alive survive), then leave.
A man (later identified as a thief) representing The Fool, a tarot card typically depicting a young man stepping off a cliff, lies on the ground with flies covering his face like excrement. He is befriended by a footless, handless dwarf (representing the Five of Swords: defeat) and goes into a city to make money from tourists. The thief's resemblance to Jesus Christ inspires some to use his likeness for the crucifixes that they sell by casting an impression of his face and body. After a dispute with a priest who rejects the thief's likeness of himself, the thief eats off the face of his wax statue and sends it skyward with balloons, symbolically eating the body of Christ and offering "himself" up to Heaven. Soon after, he notices a crowd gathered around a tall tower, where a large hook with a bag of gold has been sent down in exchange for food. The thief, wishing to find the source of the gold, ascends the tower, finding the alchemist (played by Jodorowsky) and his silent female assistant.
Archibaldo de la Cruz (Alonso) is a wealthy Mexican man. As a privileged child during the Mexican Revolution, he witnessed the death of his governess, who died as she told him a fable about a music box that his mother had just given him. Because of the contents of the story and the coincidental timing of the governess's death, a young Archibaldo concludes that he had killed the woman using the music box. It is from there that his desire to kill begins.
The revolutionary Jose Juan Reyes (Pedro Armendáriz) take the town of Cholula, Puebla, and take the money of the rich men of the zone for the Mexican Revolution. Jose Juan fell in love with the Señorita Beatriz Peñafiel (María Félix), the explosive daughter of the richest man of the zone.
The film revolves around a festival of mayordomía in the Mexican Oaxaca state, wich revolves around on something like the idea of "king for a day." When the town celebrates the feast day of its patron saint, the church appoints a layman as mayordomo or steward, an honor that in effect is gained by being able to organize and cover the high costs of most of the saint's local festivities. The post is however very coveted by the locals as it is socially prestigious.
The film uses an omniscient narrator to provide information on the characters and their personal life, historical Mexican events, and the settings depicted in the film. These "footnotes" also reveal the economic and political issues in Mexico, particularly the impoverished lifestyle of people living in rural areas across the country.
The film starts with a naked figure sitting in a tree in what looks like a mental asylum. Nurses come out to him, bringing a plate of conventional food and also one of a raw fish. As they try to coax him off of his perch, it is the fish that persuades him to come down. As the nurses get him to put on some overalls, the viewer sees that he has a tattoo of phoenix on his chest.
Like the 1987 film, and the song, the plot concerns Central American immigration to the United States. However, unlike the earlier film that concerned itself with a successful and middle-aged Mexican immigrant, the plot of this film deals with younger undocumented immigrants.
La Manuela, un travesti homosexuel, et sa fille Japonesita, tiennent un bordel dans le petit village d'El Olivo, que le chef, Don Alejo, veut vendre. Pancho, l'ancien protégé du chef du village, revient à El Olivo. Ivre, Pancho révèle sa part d'homosexualité avec La Manuela.
The film is based on real events about a group of young employees of the Autonomous University of Puebla who go mountain climbing to La Malinche and have to spend the night in a small town called San Miguel Canoa, where they are confused with communist students. Then during mass the right wing town priest encourages the people to lynch them.
Valentín Bravo had been always a rather fearful child, afraid of everything from heights to spiders. His father, Juan "Johnny" Bravo, raised him trying to make him fearless by making a tarantula walk on Valentin and throwing him off a high oceanside cliff known as La Quebrada. When his father locked Valentín in a crypt at a cemetery, Valentín began to resent his father and ran away after stating that he no longer loves him.