If you want to carry out online research on films of the Mexican Revolution there are a small number of resources to guide you. I thought I’d curate a sample that includes a range from the introductory to the applied. All of these are in Spanish.
Very short reads (and some viewing)
Coinciding with the 2010 centenary commemorating the start of the Revolution, there have been several short summaries and overviews. Here are a sampling. This one from a tourist site focuses on key historical figures and another site aimed at women readers has short descriptions accompanied by clips. Many of these short articles mention some of the usual categories: early documentary, Golden Age/Studio system era films, controversial canned films and some recent releases. This listicle of the top ten unmissable [imperdible] films starts, unusually, with Sergei Eisenstein’s ¡Que viva México! (1932), and, even more unusually, includes six films made after 2000. These all serve as good starting points for those looking to get a brief glimpse into the range of films made.
Slightly longer read
This article goes beyond the scope of the expected and expands horizons considerably by mentioning both well-known and lesser-known titles. It also includes the news (in 2009) that Johnny Depp (as Pancho Villa) and Salma Hayek (as the woman, presumably) was due to appear in a film by Emir Kusturica called Seven Friends of Pancho Villa and the Woman with Six Fingers. In 2011, Depp was reported to have dropped out due to scheduling conflicts and this project no longer appears to be going ahead. I had not come across this before and now feel intrigued by the news. The author, Óscar Díaz Rodríguez, also includes some figures obtained from the UNAM’s film archive, “Se consignan 619 títulos sobre la Revolución Mexicana desde el inicio del cine hasta nuestros días, de los cuales 134 son documentales nacionales y 186 extranjeros; así que 156 filmes son de ficción y 143 son extranjeros”. That’s 619 films about the Mexican Revolution (up to 2009), 134 Mexican documentaries, 186 foreign made, 156 Mexican fiction films and 143 foreign made fiction films, which gives a sense of the significance and scale of production.
For longer reads and research (and brief viewing)
A more in-depth site was created by researchers from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). It has a good overview, a detailed bibliography, posters, and film clips from a range of periods and styles of fiction and non-fiction films. There is also a searchable database of films. It’s not exhaustive, but it is very impressive. It is also not clear whether further work has been carried out since 2009 as this is the only date on the site and it does not include many of the recent books that came out since 2010.
As someone who goes online periodically to see what is new and whether there are expanded resources out there, I want to capture what I come across as a form of archiving what I see and also to trace changes in what I find. It has grown a little since I began my own project, but has still considerable capacity for further growth (619+ films!). I would love to hear from anyone who is working on projects that I have not yet seen or who would like to discuss the possibility of contributing to the database that I am gradually expanding or, indeed, who would like to work with me to explore the many un(der)researched films of the Revolution.