Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Mexican Revolution With Viva Zapata screening and discussion

Sunday, February 13, 12 noon – Discussion & Film

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Mexican Revolution With

Viva Zapata (113 minutes) directed by Elia Kazan screening at 12 noon

James D. Cockcroft, author of Mexico’s Revolution Then & Now discussion at 2pm

Leticia Roa Nixon, Carlos Pascual Sánchez and Laura Deutch, directors of El Sole Sale Para Todos, (52 minutes) discussion & screening at 3pm

Viva Zapata! is a 1952 fictional-biographical film directed by Elia Kazan. The screenplay was written by John Steinbeck, using as a guide Edgcomb Pinchon’s book, ‘Zapata the Unconquerable’, a fact that is not credited in the titles of the film. It is a fictionalized account of the life of Mexican Revolutionary Emiliano Zapata from his peasant upbringing, through his rise to power in the early 1900s, to his death. To give the film as authentic a feel as possible, Kazan and producer Darryl F. Zanuck studied the numerous photographs that were taken during the revolutionary years, the period between 1909 and 1919 when Zapata led the fight to restore land taken from the people during the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz. Kazan was especially impressed with the Agustin Casasola collection of photographs and he attempted to duplicate their visual style in the film. Kazan also acknowledged the influence of Roberto Rosselini‘s Paisan.[1]

James D. Cockcroft author of Mexico’s Revolution Then and Now ($14.95, Monthly Review Press)

“This timely book that marks the bicentennial of Mexico’s independence from Spain as well as the centennial of the Mexican Revolution provides a context for understanding the anti-imperialist resistance of the Mexican people and the current capitalist crisis that is creating economic refugees of hundreds of thousands of Mexicans. A passionate, beautifully written work that clarifies, informs, and calls for action.” —Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of Roots of Resistance: A History of Land Tenure in New Mexico

“Historian and political activist Jim Cockcroft, inspired by the Mexican revolutionary tradition from Magón to the contemporary Zapatistas, describes Mexico’s trajectory from the Revolution of 1910 to the upheavals of today. Bringing to bear both his scholarship and his own involvement in Mexican and immigrant issues, Cockcroft describes the peasant revolution and labor radicalism, women’s and indigenous movements, as well as the migrants’ struggles and international alliances which constitute the main currents of Mexican history and represent the wellsprings of the Mexican future. It is a radical scholar’s guide to radical Mexico and well worth the read.” —Dan La Bot, Editor, Mexican Labor News and Analysis

“This book is very important for its explanation of the influence of the ideas behind Mexico’s revolution yesterday and today. It is a work that professors and students interested in the Mexican Revolution must consult.” —Dr. Enrique Florescano, National Coordinator of Historical Projects for the National Council for Culture and the Arts, Mexico

“This new work by one of the leading Mexicanist scholars of our time will fuel the continuing debate of progressive forces about the meaning of the great rebellion. There are chapters on the current situation in Mexico, the war against the drug lords, the influence of the conservative Catholic hierarchy, and the reactionary National Action Party in power and its infiltration by disguised fascists. Cockcroft describes the fight back of women, labor, students, peasants, intellectuals, the original peoples who speak ancient languages, and Mexican immigrants in the USA. This book is a landmark in the centennial celebration of the Mexican Revolution—a great, lively read and a must for all libraries plus college courses on Latin America, Mexico, and U.S. foreign policy.” —Ross Gandy, Professor of Historical Sociology
National Autonomous University of Mexico author of Marx and History

“An intellectual, cultural and socio-economic history, enriched by biographical entries, Dr. Cockcroft’s book constitutes an unrivalled classic on the socio-political and ideological roots of what is happening today, the Centenary of the revolution in Mexico. Moreover, it’s a literary piece most satisfying to read.” —Dr. Jacinto Barrea Bassols, Director of Historical Studies
National Institute of Anthropology and History, Mexico

El Sole Sale Para Todos, Directed by Leticia Roa Nixon, Carlos Pascual Sánchez and Laura Deutch (US, 2011, 52 min, Spanish with English subtitles)

El Sol Sale Para Todos chronicles the rapid growth of the Mexican community in the historically immigrant neighborhood of South Philadelphia. Told through the first hand experiences of the main subjects who have been a formative part of this development over the last 20 years, a collective story of the community unfolds. However with growth and assimilation, come problems, resistance and efforts to organize. El Sole Sale Para Todos presents stories and fragments from the subjects’ memories, reflections and perspectives about the complexity of searching for a better life in a country that is not one’s own. The video is a companion to a book of oral histories, titled Aquí Estamos, documenting 20 diverse voices from the Mexican community. Copies of the DVD will be available for purchase for $10. For more information: http://juntosinmigracion.blogspot.com/

An exhibit of 20 prints by Leopoldo Mendez (1902 – 1969) who was one of the most distinguished printmakers of the twentieth century and one of Mexico’s most accomplished artists. A politically motivated artist who strongly opposed injustice, fascism, and war, Mendez helped form and actively participated in significant political and artistic groups, including the Estridentistas in the 1920s and the Liga de Escritores y Artistas Revolucionarios (LEAR) and the Taller de Grafica Popular (TGP) in the 1930s. To champion Mexican art and artists, Mendez also founded and directed the Fondo Editorial de la Plastica Mexicana, a highly respected art book publishing company. Mendez and his fellow artists in LEAR and TGP played a key role in the development of a Mexican political art movement and a modern Mexican cultural identity and created a body of powerful anti-Fascist images before and during World War II and subsequently collaborated with artists from Mexico and around the world on political printmaking. We thank Robert Brand for the loan of these prints.

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