Hollywood was never a natural home to Eisenstein, and with several projects rejected, it took little to persuade him to follow Upton Sinclair south to create a film celebrating Mexico's culture, history, and revolution. The documentary - a hugely ambitious project ranging from ancient Mayan civilization to the Spanish invasion to the 1930s - ran out of funds and was abandoned. The unedited material remained in Sinclair's hands in the United States, and was carefully assembled into this version of ¡Que viva México! in 1979. The result is one of the most beautiful documentaries ever made.
Angel de fuego (Angel of Fire)
Dana Rotberg, 1991, 90 min.
Phyllis Wattis Theater
Alma is a 13-year-old fire-eater and trapeze artist whose life centers around the creaking, fantastical world of the circus. Her only joy is her love for her father, an elderly clown who impregnates her with a son before dying. Cast out by the circus, she wanders the streets before falling in with the members of a marionette theater group. The group is a ray of hope in the squalor of her life, but she must undergo a demanding purification ritual to cleanse her of sin. Rotberg casts a powerful aura over her material as she follows Alma through the vagaries of life.