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Frida Movie Review

Updated on October 22, 2018

I watched Frida directed by Julie Tamor and based off of the book by Hayden Herrera. This movie was about the life of Frida Kahlo upon first seeing the famous Mexican painter Diego Rivera in college; Mexico City, 1922. Frida is a good example of woman challenging the patriarchal roles placed into society. In the beginning of the film we learn as an audience that Frida is no traditional Mexican woman as she doesn't believe that marriage is for everyone. We also see her accept and win a challenge that is only offered up to men, this challenge being whoever will drink the most will dance with the bar beauty. On multiple occasions do we also see her assert her stance on political issues, defy male roles and actively cheat on her husband.

She goes on to paint self portraits after she breaks almost all of the bones in her body from a bus crash. Shortly after being able to shed her cast she gains her ability to walk again and begins to apprentice underneath the infamous Rivera. Frida will later become his third wife. And even in her marriage with her assertive personality do we see where Frida becomes oppressed by her husband. Firstly; Rivera is able to have sexual relations with whomever he chooses and although Frida is a very sensual character herself it seems as if Rivera is offended by her own lewd behaviors and also lines up dates for Frida himself. Because of Femme Covert I imagine; I notice that as Rivera and Kahlo make their way into America that Frida becomes almost like a shadow of Diego Rivera. And although she continues painting; her lifestyle is a bit more dependant on her husband as he makes most of the money. This is conflicting to me as Frida originally approaches Diego wanting to gain support to make a living on her own off of painting but over time is domesticated and married him instead.

Aside from Frida's conflicting marriage during this time we see a few social stances she took as Frida and her husband fought for imperialism. I learned from this film that the communist politician Trotsky went to seek refuge in Fridas home in Mexico as he was wanted dead by Stalin. This is relevant Because Trotsky was a main leader in starting a revolution in Soviet Russia at the time and was kicked out of Russia. The film goes on to reveal that Frida and Trotsky end up having an affair. With a little research I learned that Trotsky returned to Mexico to see Frida, I also learned that this is where he was killed.

I really enjoyed the use of the actor's singing lyrics in Spanish to set the tone. This movie had great lighting that I could compare to film noir lighting. I also feel that this film does a great job of presenting art in general. It is like the movie and the character of Frida both become art pieces to me. I also noted that this movie included actors and actresses that were of actual mexican descent.

Frida does not live a long life but she does live a powerful one. She loses her toes due to gangrene and has servants carry her bed to her first exhibit in Mexico. As this is her life's goal and she gets put on bed rest by the doctor. Her cause of death has been recorded although some believe that apon writing her last journal entry; "I hope that the exit is joyful and I hope to never return" that she committed suicide.

© 2018 Christa Canady


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