He belongs to the first generation of film directors of the UNAM. His short film, Caridad (1973), is still considered one of the best films in Mexican cinema. Two of the most important films of his filmography are Rojo amanecer (1989) and El callejón de los milagros (1995) based in the homonym book by Naguib Mahfouz, Midaq Alley of 1947 (زقاق المدق), which breaks the classic lineal plots in films.
His 1976 film, Los albañiles, won the Silver Bear at the 27th Berlin International Film Festival. In 1995, his film El callejón de los milagros won a Special Mention at the 45th Berlin International Film Festival.