Qué Viva México (1932)

Genres - Culture & Society  |   Sub-Genres - Anthropology, Social History  |   Run Time - 85 min.  |   Countries - Mexico, Russia, USA, USSR  |  
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After the dissolution of his project based on the Theodore Dreiser novel An American Tragedy and nearing the conclusion of his failed sojourn in Hollywood, legendary Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein secured financing for this documentary about Mexico from avowed Socialist Upton Sinclair. Eisenstein and his cinematographer Eduard Tisse shot the film in 1931 and '32, intending to divide the narrative into four novels or segments called "Sandunga," "Fiesta," "Maguey," and "Soldadera." After completing filming, Eisenstein sent his footage to Hollywood for processing but political and economic intrigues prevented him from ever editing the material. Intended to be an episodic study of Mexico's durable ethnography and symbols against the backdrop of its colonial history from the ancient Mayans to the 1910 revolution, Que Viva Mexico was instead tragically chopped into pieces and used in a variety of other films, mostly documentary shorts. In 1979, this version of the film was reconstructed by Eisenstein's assistant director, Grigory Alexandrov, from his former mentor's notes.

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Keywords

bride, bullfighter, chronicle, history, jungle, Mexican-Revolution, Mexico, peasant, romance, short-films