the indian who gave his body to oscar uxeta labrit   "Forgive me your Holiness, but I am a Mexican Indian, one of those who was never conquered by the Spanish. I believe in Huitzilopochtl and I know nothing about saints or miracles". These were the words with which Emilio "Indio" Fernandez answered Pio XII (the same Pope who blessed fascist cannons) when he offered him a 10-year contract to make religious films.
Emilio Fernandez Romo (born Mineral del Hondo Coahuila, 1904 - died Ciudad de México, 1986) was the son of a Kickapoo Indian woman who married a Spanish immigrant. The family lived in poverty and Emilio soon followed his father's footsteps and left school to fight in the revolutionary Adolfo de la Huerta's battalion in the Mexican Revolution. He had hardly finished his teens and he was already a colonel. When Adolfo de la Huerta was arrested and deported to the USA, Emilio took off after him. Upon arrival he worked in the same jobs as all the other immigrants. Amongst those were that of stuntman and extra in some Hollywood productions. But that's not all. When Cedric Gibbons of Metro Goldwyn Meyer decided to renovate the Academy's awards, MGM starlet of the time Dolores del Rio mentioned to him that a young man who had worked on some films with her might make an ideal model for the new statuette. At first Emilio refused because he didn't like the idea of stripping off in front of the sculptor but Dolores and a few dollars were persuasive enough and he accepted.
In 1930, the Mexican Government announced an amnesty and he returned home. By then he had seen Serguei Einsestein's unfinished "Que Viva Mexico", a film that was to clearly influence him. Once again, he went from odd job to odd job, but at the same time he also started to get work as an actor in films here and there. Slowly but surely he carved out a niche for himself in the shaky Mexican filmmaking industry. He made his first film, "La isla de la pasión" in 1941. From 1943 onwards, he stubbornly and obstinately made film after film after film. He won awards at the Cannes, Venice and San Sebastian Film Festivals amongst others. This hardworking lover of life made two or three films a year. From the 50s on, recognition for his work started to trail off. His was a simple style of filmmaking that showcased Indian and farmers' pride. He remained true to the objectives and ideals of his revolutionary youth. He was criticised as being repetitive. "Indio" Fernandez agreed: "...our land, the lack of water, poverty,.... They are all repetitive for millions of Mexicans". Emilio "Indio" Fernandez's life was like something out of a Mexican ranchero song. He was a bigmouthed, gambling, womanising, hard-drinking, macho, friend of a friend and a nightmare for enemies. One night in 1970, he started drinking and hell-raising with a group of gypsies who had set up camp beside his home. Three drunken farmers came by and started shooting at the gypsies. "Indio" Fernandez drew his pistol and started firing back. He killed one of them. "Indio" was sent to prison but he didn't spend too long there. He was full of light and shadows and contradictions (as are all people of flesh and blood.) When all has been said and done, however, it can never be denied that this filmmaker, fused with the blood of the conquerors and the blood of those who fought against them, used his camera, talent and heart in favour of the povertystricken and downtrodden masses of his country.

* La isla de la pasión (1941)
* Flor silvestre (1943)
* María Candelaria (1944)
* Las Abandonadas (1945)
* Bugambilia (1945)
* Pepita Jiménez (1946)
* Enamorada (1946)
* La Perla (1947)
* The Fugitive (1947)
* Río Escondido (1948)
* Maclovia (1948)
* Salón México (1949)
* Pueblerina (1949)
* La Malquerida (1949)
* Duelo en las montañas (1950)
* The Torch (1950)
* Un Día de vida (1950)
* Vítimas del pecado (1951)
* Islas Marías (1951)
* La Bienamada (1951)
* Siempre tuya (1952)
* Acapulco (1952)
* El Mar y tú (1952)
* Cuando levanta la niebla (1952)
* La Red (1953)
* Reportaje (1953)
* El Rapto (1953)
* El Rebelión de los colgados (1954)
* La Rosa blanca (1955)
* Nosotros dos (1955)
* La Tierra del fuego se apaga (1955)
* Una Cita de amor (1958)
* El Impostor (1960)
* Pueblito (1961)
* Paloma herida (1963)
* Un Dorado de Pancho Villa (1967)
* El Crepúsculo de un dios (1969)
* La Choca (1974)
* Zona roja (1976)
* México Norte (1979)
* Erótica (1979)