Que Viva Mexico

This week’s film, Qué Viva México, was a groundbreaking and original film for its time. The film started into production in the beginning of the 1930’s during a time when Hollywood cinema was very uniform and controlled by Hollywood’s studios format, but the creators Sergei Eisentein and Upton Sinclair went an entirely different, more creative, way that was seen as a leftist movement for cinema but would now probably just be considered as an independent film.  It was interesting to find out that the films footage was not cut together and released until the 70’s when it had been filmed in the early 30’s and since it was not released until 40 or so years later it is as close as they could get it to what they think the creators envisioned when they filmed it.

This film, as previously mentioned, was an entirely original concept for the time. There were no actors in this film; it was simply designed to show and represent what life was like before, during, and after the Mexican revolution. Another thing that made it original was the fact that it intertwined cinema and political concept/ideas together in one picture which was previously a kind of taboo type thing to do especially if you wanted to be distributed by a major studio in Hollywood. During this time Hollywood had a production code which was kept by all the major studios and if a film did not meet all the requirements of that code than it was tuff to get it distributed throughout the United States.

Qué Viva México tied in and represented the conflict between the native Mexican culture and the intruding Spanish Mexican culture that was working its way into Mexico and trying to take over. The film was broken down into sections:  The first sections was depicting what women had to go through and obtain to be married and followed one in particular in the work for her dowry to marry her true love. The second section showed the marriage ceremony. The third section depicted the fiesta after the wedding. The fourth took us to a bull fight. The fifth section cut to a plantation type place where we saw a man having to ask his master for permission to marry a woman in which they took from him, raped, and locked her up. The sixth section showed the rebellion of the workers on the plantation over the abducted girl and how they took the battle to the cacti fields and the daughter of the plantation owner was killed in battle. The seventh section was the capture and killing of the rebellious workers. The epilogue was last to show us the festival of the Day of the Dead which alluded to the victory of the Mexican natives in the revolution and the future they had.

This movie did an excellent job of showing the conflict and contrast between  the native Mexican culture and the Spanish Mexican culture in the switching in and out from the fiesta to the bull fight and the rebellion to the Day of the dead celebration where one of the skeletons appeared to be that of the plantation owners. Over all this film was well done in representing the revolution they went through, it is just a shame that audiences never saw it exactly as Eisentein may have wanted it done.