The film Que Viva Mexico was composed of 6 different segments with each one representing a different portion or aspect of Mexico’s turbulent history. Stephen Hart’s article ‘Que Viva Mexico’ examines the different segments of the film and their meaning. One section of the article discusses how the film produces Einstein’s idea of it being like a sarape which is a multi-sectional type of Mexican blanket. These blankets are stripes of many different colors or patterns, similar to that of Mexico’s history. Composed of many differing elements and lifestyles; coexisting and conflicting to ultimately form modern day Mexico.
Meyer’s article The Course of Mexican History Part 1 explores Mexico as it was under the control of Porfirio Diaz. It discussed in depth the actions the Mexican President took to reform his country and establish them in the global sphere. Parts of his control took place during the time when the 5th portion of the film was to have taken place. In IV: The Maguey Cactus we see that while Mexico is advancing there are still the establishment of large estates that control the land and a general lack of established social control. In this section of the film there is little sense of justice as the wealthy landowner allows his friend to rape a bride to be. The groom seeking justice is forced to try and take care of matters himself, what ensues show the lack of justice during the time as there is a shoot off and ultimately the groom who was seeking justice is murdered along with his companions by being trampled.
The Day of the Dead portion of the film was extremely interesting because it merged ideas of a new and old Mexico, mixing their culture alongside thematic elements that lead to the interpretation of the idea of a battle for Mexico. From this fight the people would either emerge victorious, or dead. It used visual interpretations of this concept through skeletal masks worn by adults and children and also the human skeletons themselves. This search for a free Mexico was to be concluded by the son of a ‘soldadera’, who would truly succeed in winning the battle for freedom.
This film was overall historically accurate and did a good job of combining cultural ideas of Mexico alongside a more general picture of the nation. Some instances of Mexican culture and lifestyle were exaggerated such as the portion where the people are lazily riding boats down a tropical paradise. The scene of bullfighting was an important portion of the movie because it showed the mixture of traditional Mexico combined with the Spanish influence. It would have been interesting to see this film in a completed and edited version but as it was, it communicated the issues and key elements extremely well, although it was not the most entertaining.