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Que Viva Mexico! (1932)

Cast: Eduard Tisse, Eduard Tisse
Director: Sergei Eisenstein, Sergei Eisenstein, Grigory Alexandrov, more...
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Kino
Genre: Documentary, Foreign, Russia, Silent, Latin America, Mexico
Running Time: 85 min.
Languages: English
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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. ~ Karl Williams, All Movie Guide

Special Features: Disc also includes the 20-minute sound short ROMANCE SENTIMENTALE (1930), a rare excerpt of Eisenstein's MISERY AND FORTUNE OF WOMAN (1929) and "Qué Viva Clippings," collected from various documents regarding the production of QUE VIVA MEXICO.

GreenCine Member Reviews

Strange and Wonderful by RMorris June 15, 2007 - 1:18 PM PDT
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
This restoration does its best to be faithful to the original project, and, while not perfect, is worth viewing by film buffs. Eisenstein was at his best photographing ordinary people doing ordinary things, while struggling with oppression and poverty. Here he created what amounts to a incomplete folk history of Mexico. It's beautiful and strange at the same time. The narration in Russian, for one thing, seems odd with the arid landscape and faces of Latin America. Also some of the background music sounds more like out of Austin Powers, late 60s style. This weirdness is thankfully not very distracting, and the beauty and grace of the poor folk being depicted is wonderful.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.94)
31 Votes
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