¡Qué viva México! by Sergei Eisenstein was an ambitious film that was attempting to show the way in which the Mexican people were trying to gain their freedom, or a least a greater amount of Democracy in their country. Many of the scenes he shot were vivid and memorable and the film from a nuanced standpoint succeeded in telling his story when it is broken down and viewed with each scene having an historical harkening to Mexican tradition. One of the most important displays of this imagery was found in the very opening of the film with the displays of the people standing like statues around the Mayan ruins. Originally it appears to be a few random shots of the Mexican people, but then his point in starting there becomes more apparent. It seems that he was trying to take people back to the early beginnings of Mexico, and the conquest of the Mexican people by the European invaders. His intent was to show that the people of Mexico have really been having to fight for their freedom for more than just there time in their current struggle. They are a proud group of people who, from the very discovery of their society by the European invaders, have been willing to fight and die to gain and sustain their freedom, and their current fight against the wealthy landowners is yet another struggle on their path to freedom.
Continuing through the film, Eisenstein showed through the people of Tehuantepec, how the people of Mexico were people who held firmly on to their traditions. He showed the young lady Concepcion who is working hard to complete the traditions of making her golden necklace before to present to her new husband as a dowry. In that story viewers are even allowed a view into how traditional the Mexicans are by showing how matriarchal their society continued to be. Moving into the next chapter Eisenstein entertains the viewers with the bull fights that the people so enjoyed. With the excitement and passion of the wedding from the previous chapter and the violence and thrills the people took in from the fights in that chapter, Eisenstein is painting a picture for the viewer of just how alive and vibrant Mexican society was. Even in the depths of their oppression at the hands of the wealthy landowners, the people spirit and their love of their traditions is what made them who they were and that, the landowners could never take away.
It is in the late middle and towards the end of the film that Eisenstein really begins to show the true plight of the people starting with the Maguey Cactus scene and the hard work that the men performed for small amounts of pay. Then to introduce the most amount of pathos to that point, Eisenstein quickly introduces and resolves the struggle against the landowners through the plight of the young couple. The young girl is taken by the owner and the men fight back, but are quickly defeated and killed in the most brutal of fashions. There was no inference or deeper meaning in this chapter; Eisenstein was clearly showing the uphill battle that the people had before them. However, he ends the movie on a lighter note by foreshadowing the success that the people were hoping for in their celebration of the Day of the Dead. In the end the old way is depicted as being dead, and the new young Mexico as being triumphant in creating a brighter future for Mexice.