Mexico in american movies photo of a street with a brown sandy sepia toned filter applied

Mexican Filter

Updated Oct 30, 2023 at 10:13AM EDT by Philipp.

Added Jun 19, 2019 at 02:04PM EDT by Adam.

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About

Mexican Filter or Mexico Filter refers to parodies of a trope in American film and television in which scenes taking place in Mexico are often shown through a sepia or yellow-colored filter. The cliche began garnering attention in the early 2000s, increasing over the following years through associations with prominent TV shows like Breaking Bad, among others.

Origin

The cliche of sepia tone to depict Mexico started gaining attention around the 2001 release of the film Traffic.[2] In 2001, The Christian Science Monitor discussed the cliche in the film, interviewing Dulce Maria Sauri, then-president of Mexico's Institutional Revolutionary Party, who said "Everything in the United States is technicolor, it's neat and beautiful, while Mexico is sepia, old, and shadowy."

On September 15th, 2012, Redditor thisissamsaxton[1] posted an image macro to /r/BreakingBad about how Breaking Bad scenes in Mexico are shot in a traditional color palette while scenes in Mexico are given a sepia tone (shown below).


NOT MEXICO MEXICO

Spread

Breaking Bad was often a target of jokes about its color palette for Mexican scenes. Other examples include a February 3rd, 2018, post in /r/breakingbad[3] by user the_prion, gaining over 6,000 points (shown below, left). In the same thread, user SinResearcher posted stills from the show showing "Mexico in the past" that also featured a sepia tone (shown below, right).


UNITED STATES AND MEXICO BORDER TECATE UNITED STATES AND MEXICO BORDER ACCORDING TO BREAKING BAD TECATE #tterCallSaul aMC WBetterCallsaul aMC амс

Jokes grew more widespread in June 2019, following two highly popular posts on Reddit. These are a June 15th post to /r/pics[4] by brian-munich92 that gained over 70,000 points (shown below, left) and a June 17th post by chanmaxi[5] in /r/funny that gained over 60,000 points (shown below, right).


Mexico 12 Mexico in american movies 1

In addition to the memes, discourse about the trope appeared online around the same time. On June 15th, Quora[6] user Diego Noriega Mendoza posted a thread asking about it, and user GooberMcJamslice posted a question to /r/OutOfTheLoop about it on the 17th.[7]

Piss Filter

Piss Filter is a slang name given to the golden (yellow) filter that frequently appeared in video games released during the period of seventh generation consoles between 2005 and 2013, most notably Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Fallout 3, Resident Evil 5 and Metal Gear Solid 4. Posts mentioning the "piss filter" appeared online since 2011, with the term regaining popularity in early 2020s.

Various Examples


american tv shows be like Mexico Genaro SO.S Antes Después

MEXICO IS SEPIA TONE Mexico: Mexico in American movies: m EMILY BENICIO JOSH BLUNT DELTORO BROLIN SICARIO THE BORDER IS JUST ANOTHER LINE TO CR OSS BT IN sELECTTNEATERS AIUR SHERDAN SEPTEMBER 18 E RE


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