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This film follows her from childhood when, as the daughter of a famous architect, she posed for the golden angel atop the famous column of Independence in Mexico City, and ends when she committed suicide in the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
As a young woman, she married but left her husband and fell madly in love with a homosexual painter. Their Platonic relationship lasted for several years until she met a Mexican intellectual who was running for president of the country on the platform of offering education to the masses. She, and the painter supported him and eventually she became his lover and prime advisor.
After he was defeated she accompanied him in exile to Paris. In a telling scene, she begs him to tell her if he still needs her. He replies, that, really no one needs anyone, only God. Obviously this wasn't the answer she was hoping for, and that's when she committed her last dramatic act, by pressing the pistol to her heart in the pews of the Notre Dame.
Antonieta's story is told through the eyes of a modern day Parisian psychologist, played by Hannah Schygulla, who is researching the cases of women who committed suicide in the 20th Century. She becomes fascinated by Antonieta's story and travels to Mexico to find out more. There are wonderful film clips of life in Revolutionary and post Revolutionary Mexico showing pictures of female peasants strapped with ammunition for their rifles, and such heros as Pancho Villa, complete with huge sombrero. I found these segments some of the most interesting parts of the film.Read more ›
About the character:
Antonieta Rivas Mercado was a Mexican writer and feminist. She was the wealthy daughter of a famed architect who sent her to Paris when events in Mexico took a turn for the worse in 1915. She wed a British subject, had a sad marriage and a son. She returned to her country to get divorced, didn't, and got involved in Mexico's artistic Renaissance under José Vasconcelos tenure as Education Minister (1922). She wrote poetry, theater, prose and journalism, though she is mostly remembered today for her private letters. A free spirit, she promptly fell madly in love with painter Manuel Rodríguez Lozano, who did not reciprocate, and was himself an unhappily married homosexual (by the way, Rodrígues Lozano's wife, Carmen Mondragón [a.k.a. "Nahui Ollin"] a stunning blond beauty, had a troubled life of her own to match Antonieta's. Raped by her father, despaired of her husband's sexual preferences, she drowned her baby in the tub, became a whore and died an old alcoholic homeless harpy by the time this movie came out).
Later on, Ms Rivas Mercado had an affair with Vasconcelos, who was running for President at the time (1929). His campaign gained the support of women (he promised them the vote), students, intellectuals and the middle class, but the revolutionary generals that ruled Mexico weren't about to take any chances: they rigged the election, murdered any protesters and exiled Vasconcelos to Europe -Antonieta along with him. Defeated, Vasconcelos became bitter, egotistical and self-absorbed. He soon tired of Antonieta and got rid of her.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Pero la calidad del video para ser DVD deja mucho que desear ya que parece ahber sido un transfer de VHS a DVD con todo y sus ajustes de TrackingPublished on April 23, 2014 by Juan Jersain Gonzalez Mendoza
Muy rápida entrega y el producto esperado. La película sin embargo esta grabada en una calidad original, por lo que es deficiente. Read morePublished on December 12, 2013 by Yuri Antonio Trinidad Montoya
Technically the transfer is very poor. The cinematography is hazy and the Spanish dialogue is out of synch (obvious to anyone, even those who don't know Spanish), as are the... Read morePublished on November 29, 2012 by Harry O
I am a Mexican actor about to play the role of Antonieta Rivas Mercado's first husband, the English/American Albert Blair, (a character who is very scantly portrayed in Saura's... Read morePublished on August 6, 2011 by Mario Iván Martínez