Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Storm That Swept Mexico

PBS airs an important two-hour documentary, The Storm That Swept Mexico,  about the Mexico revolution tonight (May 15). Check your local listings or the website for details.


Here is how the producers describe the documentary

The Storm That Swept Mexico tells the gripping story of the Mexican Revolution of 1910, the first major political and social revolution of the 20th century. The revolution not only changed the course of Mexican history, transforming economic and political power within the nation, but also profoundly impacted the relationships between Mexico, the U.S. and the rest of the world.

Leading the initial wave of 20th century worldwide political and social upheavals, the Mexican revolution was the first major revolution to be filmed. The Storm That Swept Mexico incorporates photographs and motion pictures from the earliest days of cinema. Much of this material has never been seen before by North American and international audiences.

The first hour, “The Tiger is Unleashed,” charts the struggle by Francisco I. Madero and his followers to end the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz, and traces the emergence of two remarkable rebel leaders: Emiliano Zapata and General Francisco “Pancho” Villa. But the Revolution was not merely an internal affair; it was an international event, profoundly influenced by U.S. and European foreign policy.

The second hour, “The Legacy,” examines international influence on the Mexican revolution, investigating the extraordinary plan, hatched in Germany, to seek Mexico’s support against the United States, if it was to enter World War I. In addition to the warfare, there was a cultural revolution as well. Beginning in the 1920s, and continuing through and beyond the 1940s, Mexican artists burst onto the international cultural stage, and Mexico City became the nexus of an indigenous art movement. Against this backdrop, the presidency of Lázaro Cárdenas in many ways fulfills the promises of the revolution. But after Cárdenas’s extraordinary administration, politics regress, and in 1968, shortly before Mexico City is to host the Olympics, a new type of revolution explodes.

Interviewing distinguished scholars from the disciplines of history, economics, literature, political science, women’s studies, and art history, The Storm That Swept Mexico explores the beliefs and conditions that led to the revolution, influenced the course of the conflict, and determined its consequences over the century that followed.

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