10th edition CIFF – 10-14 April 2024

Extraño pero verdadero (Strange But True) (2017 Feature Film)

Michel Lipkes | Mexico | 2017 | black-and-white | 93 min | Spanish | e.s.

A refuse truck driven by Mister Clean crisscrosses the streets of Mexico City with Jonathan and Yesi on board, who are in love – and on the point of losing control of their lives. Sharp black-and-white drama by director Lipkes on the crime and violence blighting his country, with love as a leitmotif.

Jonathan and Yesi are in love, but fearfully keep this from Mister Clean, their dodgy boss on the bin wagons. In Mexico City, there is no end to the refuse. Cardboard and plastic are separated on the spot, and half-empty bottles of drink finished off in one go; for tips, they will collect the refuse from your kitchen. Everything changes when a body turns up among the containers, its pockets stuffed with cash. Mister Clean comes up with a plan that will benefit them all. In today’s Mexico, it’s simply impossible not to get tangled up in the wretchedness of the violent underworld.
This second feature by Michel Lipkes shows an inescapable downward spiral – though not without a glimmer of hope – in luscious black-and-white. Film buff Lipkes nods to masters through clever references and symbolism, making Strange But True both a homage and movie-spotter’s delight on several levels. Hope, love and belief in the power of cinema.

Place: CINEMA 3

Date: 6 April 2017

Time: 14:15

Duration: 1:25

Place: CINEMA 3

Date: 7 April 2017

Time: 19:30

Duration: 1:13

Year in



Michel Lipkes


Gerardo Barrosco Alcalá


Alfredo Blanco
Kristyan Ferrer
Luis Enrique Parra
Itzel Sarmientos




León Felipe González
Michel Lipkes




93 min


Galo Durán


Matías Meyer
Michel Lipkes

Production Company

Axolote Cine

Production Design

Claudio Ramirez Castelli


Axolote Cine


Michel Lipkes
Gabriel Reyes
Rubén Imaz

Sound Design

Jose Miguel Enriquez
Jaime Juarez

Year of Production


Michel LIPKES (1978, Mexico) studied at the CCC Film School in Mexico City from 1999 to 2006. During his studies, he started working as a programme director for the city’s international film festival. Since then, he has programmed for many festivals and institutes, including the Guadalajara International Film Festival and the Cineteca Nacional. His short films have been awarded at various festivals. Malaventura (2011) was his feature debut. Strange But True (2017) was presented as a project in IFFR’s CineMart 2013.



Escupir contra el viento/Spitting Against the Wind (2005, short), El niño sin piernas no puede bailar/The Legless Boy Cannot Dance (2008, short), Malaventura (2011), Extraño pero verdadero/Strange But True (2017)