Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Que Viva Mexico

I found the Que Viva Mexico to be an interesting film even though it seemed a little disorganized in terms of the storyline. It appeared to be made as a documentary in the first half which showed the traditions and lifestyles in Mexico and the other half about a story of a man trying to get his fiancĂ©e back and fighting alongside the other peasants against the landlords. As a soviet production it seemed as though they focused on showing the strength of the Mexican people as they banded together when needed and showed they’re solidarity and loyalty amongst themselves during a time of necessity. In a way I felt that the filmmakers were trying to find a common ground in order to be able to relate this as a form of communism. Because the film was essentially made for a Russian audience, it was almost an attempt to show their countrymen that communism exists in different places and in different forms and that there should be a sense of pride because of that. It can almost be considered as a form of propaganda. Another interesting element was the way the film depicted a kind of Mexico where the men and women worked and were found side by side; that a sense of equality was shown, except for the second part of the movie where the upper class took advantage of the girl. Compared to the other movies that we have watched where either the man or woman were depicted as dominant or weak, in this one they showed each other to be alike. Like the one scene where the guy’s daughter went alongside with the other cowboys to hunt down the rebels. She was out there firing that gun showing that she can be just as effective and courageous as the others, although she does end up getting killed.

An interesting component in the Que Viva Mexico is the limited use of dialogue and when there was some, mainly from the narrator in Russian; sounds seemed to be re-produced in the studio. The presenter did mention that the movie was incomplete and that some elements had obliviously been added such as the scene during the bullfight as a camera was mounted on a bull to produce the sensation of bulls’ perspective and that the viewer was riding the bull. One last thing to mention is my curiosity with the fascination with the skulls and faces and as to why the camera seemed to do a lot of close ups of them.

2 comments:

  1. One other thing that you reminded me of, which I had not thought about is the juxtaposition of a matriarchal society in the jungle, where the women pick their husbands and run the family, and the male dominated cactus plantation, where the woman must be brought for approval to the master.
    About the skulls and faces - he revealed the faces behind some skulls, and skeletons behind others... and said that the living faces were children of soldaderas, revolutionary, hopeful people, whereas the skeletons were the old ruling class of masters, etc.

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  2. I hadn't thought about the communist connotation of this film, although the scene where Sebastian is being tortured by what appear to be conquistadores of some sort obviously makes the audience sympathize with Sebastian, showing the high class as people with no values. In battleship potemkin he also shows the people in the uprising but in a more dramatical fashion.

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