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.
Alberto Gout, 1949, 101 min.
Phyllis Wattis Theater
One of the most popular Mexican films ever made, the cult sensation Aventurera is a famous example of cabaretera, a curious film noir and musical hybrid wildly popular in Mexico in the 1940s and 1950s. Starring Ninón Sevilla, whom Variety called "a cross between Rita Hayworth and Carmen Miranda," the film follows the melodramatic rise and fall of a popular nightclub star with a dark past.