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Thursday, April 15 • 10:00am - 10:25am
Borderlands | The Cinematic Spectacle of Pancho Villa's Posthumous Career

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During his lifetime, Francisco Villa was filmed, photographed, and written about by international journalists, filmmakers, novelists, and political figures. Yet, it is in film that his most enduring image has transcended and had the greatest impact. This intervention examines how this image was crafted and re-fashioned through the decades as cinema evolved in both Mexico and the United States. In life, most national and foreign films represented the revolution as a spectacular folk-show, and Villa was at their central stage. But after his assassination in 1923, the image of Villa took on a new role that over time changed from a drunken bandit to a Robin Hood figure, redeemer of those that the old regime had exploited. In Mexico, the cinematic lens captured archetypes created over time that sought to create a society loyal to the revolution through the incorporation of prominent revolutionary figures who were unapologetic and operated in a carefully curated countryside that glorified a movement by highlighting the bravery of men and downplaying the harsh conditions of the battlefields. In the United States, the premiere of Viva Villa! in 1934 not only created a vision of Villa but projected an image of Mexico internationally that perpetuated stereotypes still prevalent today.


Marco Macias

Ft. Hays State University

Thursday April 15, 2021 10:00am - 10:25am PDT
Stage A