Que Viva Mexico

            The setup of this movie was very interesting. While at times it was hard to follow with the lack of dialog but it did a good job at getting the main points across. The movie had six separate parts. The first was the prologue where it showed the ancient Mexican Mayan pyramids followed by a funeral. The second part was Tehuantepec where it showed how the female would work while the male just lounged around all day. She was working to gather gold coins for a necklace that she needed to marry the man she desired. Then it went on to show the marriage ceremony. The third part was the fiesta this had two separate parts. First it showed the celebration of Corpus Christi festival in Tetlapayac in 1931. Then it went on to show the preparations and showing of a bullfight. The fourth part was The Maguey Cactus which took place in the state of Hidalgo in the beginning of the twentieth century in the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz. It showed a young man working on a cactus plantation who was preparing to marry Maria but first he had to present her to the landowner to get permission. They end up raping and kidnapping Maria. Sebastian and his friends try to overrun them and get her back, but instead the end up dying and Maria ends up just walking out because everyone is out fighting and no one was there to guard her. The fifth part was the Soldadera which was an early draft and was not shot by Eisenstein. This part shows the importance of females during the revolutionary war. Then the last part was about the Day of the Dead celebration. It shows the festivities of the day and then the removal of the skeleton masks where some were still skulls underneath while others were the Mexican youth.

            Eisenstein must have been an odd character mooching off of Sinclair living in Mexico trying to make this odd montage of a film. It is a shame that he was never able to finish his film. And then out of stubbornness since he was unable to finish his first film he never went on to make another film either.
Harts reading breaks down the meanings of the parts of the movie in parts such as pre-historical matriarchal society, the Spanish influence, the oppression of the working class, and the female importance during the Mexican Revolution.
            Chris Robes reading says that Que Viva Mexico was perhaps the most talked about film from the 1930s.  He then goes on to say that this film changed the views of many leftist film critics to go back on their views that they could ignore Hollywood. Apparently before Que Viva Mexico Eisenstein’s montage method was criticized by many and thought that his lack of account character psychology makes it harder for the viewers to get into and relate to the film, making it harder for him to get his point across through his films and that style of cinema. But many people were excited about his production of Que Viva Mexico and had great hope for its success and felt it was a shame he was never able to finish it. The reading also says that the film is a “much more complex account of religion than most critics were able to identify.” Which is a very true and right on comment. The article goes on to talk about the Fiesta part of the movie and talks about how he was able to “link religion with the oppression and death caused by the Spanish conquest.” Eisenstein was in the middle where Russia showed religion as a negative and in Mexico religion was a large part of their life. This conflict in views from his surroundings could show why the movie was so radical about religious views.