Que Viva Mexico! is a distinct documentary with a unique approach to Mexican history. To understand and fully appreciate Que Viva Mexico!, one must first be versed in its background, which is accomplished by the narration. Learning about the director’s story helps round out this picture. His life could be described as an unfortunate one, full of unlucky breaks and back stabs. The saddest part perhaps is that he got no closure from his projects. He was quoted in Hart’s article as saying “How can there be a new film when I haven’t given birth to the last one?” which is a testament to his commitment to this project. This new kind of film was really going to change things until budgeting issues and other misfortunes ended its production. According to Robé, the original version was going to finally expose what Hollywood wouldn’t about Mexico, once and for all. He doesn’t appreciate Thunder over Mexico’s interpretation of Eisensteins work, it failed on many accounts like political symbolism, religion etc. Despite this, the film still made a difference in influencing future projects with the edited version.
In his article, Robé points out many critiques, this film had an unbelievable amount of them. In addition, the author brings up an interesting analogy between Catholicism and Hollywood, probably the first time that’s been done. He stated that both were better when controlled by a larger group instead of a few powerful individuals. He was frustrated with the concentration of power and the way they were handling the industry. In the same account, he explored this issue in Catholicism.
During the revolution women, left without their husbands who were fighting often left their traditional roles to fight alongside the men, sometimes with a baby clinging on to them. This is a contrast to the images we see of women in the wedding chapter of Que Viva Mexico!, filled with images of women cleaning and preparing for the wedding ceremony, all considered traditional for that time period. We learned more about this tradition prior to this scene, such as how females must have a necklace filled completely with coins before they were eligible to wed.
The book The Course of Mexican History explores significant historical events, which can be helpful to parallel against the films story line. For example, the revolution was beginning and reshaping Mexico, bringing in new technologies and industries. Obviously all historically significant incidents during the timeframe could not be discussed in the movie, like US relations and other things. These could have potentially been explored if Eisenstein had the opportunity to finish his project.
In conclusion, Que Viva Mexico!, although incomplete, still made a dramatic impact on both Hollywood and perceptions of the Mexican Revolution.