The Mexican Revolution on the World Stage

Intellectuals and Film in the Twentieth Century

By Adela Pineda Franco

Subjects: Film Studies, Latin American Studies, Intellectual History, Cultural Studies, Literary Criticism
Series: SUNY series in Latin American Cinema
Hardcover : 9781438475615, 286 pages, August 2019
Paperback : 9781438475608, 286 pages, August 2019

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations

1. The Mirage of Community: A Mexican Village in Times of War

2. Zapata in the Presidential Chair: Viva Zapata!

3. The “Quién Sabe” of Revolution in the Italian Western

4. Resisting the Populist Temptation: México, la revolución congelada and Raymundo Gleyzer’s Latin Americanist Cinema


Works Cited

Explores the wide-ranging impact of the Mexican Revolution on global cinema and Western intellectual thought.


The first major social revolution of the twentieth century, the Mexican Revolution was visually documented in technologically novel ways and to an unprecedented degree during its initial armed phase (1910–21) and the subsequent years of reconstruction (1921–40). Offering a sweeping and compelling new account of this iconic revolution, The Mexican Revolution on the World Stage reveals its profound impact on both global cinema and intellectual thought in and beyond Mexico. Focusing on the period from 1940 to 1970, Adela Pineda Franco examines a group of North American, European, and Latin American filmmakers and intellectuals who mined this extensive visual archive to produce politically engaged cinematic works that also reflect and respond to their own sociohistorical contexts. The author weaves together multilayered analysis of individual films, the history of their production and reception, and broader intellectual developments to illuminate the complex relationship between culture and revolution at the onset of World War II, during the Cold War, and amid the anti-systemic movements agitating Latin America in the 1960s. Ambitious in scope, this book charts an innovative transnational history of not only the visual representation but also the very idea of revolution.

Adela Pineda Franco is Professor of Latin American Literature and Film at Boston University. She is the coeditor (with Jaime Marroquin Arredondo and Magdalena Mieri) of Open Borders to a Revolution: Culture, Politics, and Migration.


"This extraordinary study returns the visual reverberations of the Mexican Revolution to the place they once occupied in the world's arena … This is a deeply researched, intelligently conceptualized, and well-written study." — Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos

"The Mexican Revolution on the World Stage is a first-rate, thoroughly researched work that opens a new area of inquiry in the field. It reveals how the visual archive of the revolution has been locally and globally used and abused to either ascertain or contest the significance of the revolution in differing contexts and periods by delving into the ideological complexities, even paradoxes, of cultural production." — Zuzana M. Pick, author of Constructing the Image of the Mexican Revolution: Cinema and the Archive

"This book is a vital and compelling historical analysis of the contexts and contribution international filmmakers have made to the construction of the Mexican Revolution on film. The archival research is impressive and wide-ranging." — Niamh Thornton, author of Revolution and Rebellion in Mexican Film