Ciudad Huacal (Huacal City)

Ciudad Huacal


Ciudad Huacal (Huacal City, in English) is a documentary about boxes. More specifically, it is about the wooden crates that go through a supply center in Mexico City. With these huacal (or guacal) being used everyday, the men in this facility never run out of work, and in this film, they are seen buying, selling, and repairing these wooden containers.

This documentary actually starts off with a rather interesting quote that goes,

“The world is made of boxes. We live in them, we move within them, we see the world through them, and we wind up in them in the end.”

This award-winning short is thus a rather interesting look into the work that goes into the Mexican huacal industry. While some people may just view the wooden crate as a simple, maybe crude, box to place fruit and other stuff in, it is actually a thriving livelihood for the people involved. I like how I saw the passion the people here place into their work, and it can be quite dizzying to see those towers of huacal stacked up all high.

Can you imagine living everyday surrounded by these kinds of boxes? Personally, I’m not sure I can.

(This is available on Vimeo and YouTube, with and without English subtitles. Click here for another documentary featuring people working hard. And click here for another film about a special kind of box.)

Ciudad Huacal, on Vimeo (no subtitles)


Ciudad Huacal, on YouTube (English subtitles)


Directed by Christoph Müller

Director’s website


I'm the webmaster and author at I started this website as a complement to my studies in the Spanish language, but honestly, it just gave me an excuse to watch lots of great short films (like the ones in my author's picks section). I also blog and write short stories.

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