The film Que Viva Mexico gives a depiction of Mexico in the rawest form. There are no actors, and the script is extremely basic. The film shows life from the perspective of the Mexican people and does an accurate job in portraying mexican culture. The film was shot during the Depression, this combined with the fact that it was an independent film left its creators Eisenstein and Upton Sinclair be extremely creative, and really give a portrayal of Mexican culture, and the conditions of the pre-revolutionary Mexico.
The film is divided up into episodes, each identifying different aspects of the culture, combined they give a look into what the Mexican people’s lives were like. The first episode is the prologue which showed images of Mexican landscape and and structures like the Mayan pyramids. The images of the Mayan pyramids is an ancient image, and throughout the segment images of the past are intermingled with images of the present to pose the question: are the images of ancient and past Mexican culture separate from the images if the present or are the two combined and engrained in Mexican culture? The next episode shows how weddings and relationships develop in Mexican society. The indigenous nature of Mexico is a very matriarchal, where the women work until they are about sixteen to eighteen years old. They do this in order to save the gold coins they earn to make a necklace. Then they pick a husband. This episode deals with the indigenous part of Mexican culture. While the next episode shows the conquest, or stations of the cross. This exemplifies the triumph of the Spanish segment over the indigenous people. The scene that follows is the bull killing in honor of the virgin. This is also showing an aspect of the Spanish part of Mexican culture. After these two episodes on the Spanish influences in Mexico, the film switches back to a more indigenous aspect. The men cut open these gigantic mexican cactus plants, in a very intricate and detailed way. They do so in order to reach the center where there is a drink that they extract. The next episode shows where a man must bring his bride before the patron to get his permission to marry her. However, the patron takes the woman for himself. This causes somewhat of a rebellion. This tension gives a forshadowing to the unfinished episode of the film which surrounds the Mexican Revolutions. The main tension of the film surrounds the division between the indigenous Mexican culture and the Spanish Mexican culture, and the difference between the two.
The film helps to show the way in which Mexican people lived their lives, and thew way that the two cultures mixed together to form one culture. It is very interesting to note the different practices, compared to American culture, and to get a grasp of the way Mexican life was before the Mexican revolution.