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Mexico 1935… two films

30 June 2014

The first, from the Penn Museum (University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthopology) seems to be three travel films run together… of Mexican City (most of which should be recognizable to anyone with any familarity with the city today), of someone’s trip down the canals of Xochimilco, and a minute or two of men cutting agave.


The second, “Mexico Revisited” is allegedly, travel films taken by the producer’s grandfather of a road trip from Laredo to Mexico City and back.  Obviously, “provincia” has changed radically in the last 80 years, but what’s fun is recognizing how many of the stereotypes still presented about Mexico were seen even then as “colorful”.  It also suggests to me why the Cardenas administration (1936-42) was so concerned about modernization.

I don’t doubt that the film really was shot by tourists back in the 30s, though it crossed my mind to ask who was filming all those scenes of the car going down the road, crossing streams, etc.  While the “time capsule” introduction is cute, the producer might want to re-edit .  The flag supposedly filmed by his ancestor in 1935 (at 3:33) is one that didn’t exist until 1968, when the national seal was redesigned.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. stanleywinborne3 permalink
    30 June 2014 10:30 am

    Aren’t those guys cutting hennequin or sisal. I guess they are all technically agaves, but not the kind for drinking – tequils or mezcal, rather for fiber – ropes, clothing hamacas, etc.

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