‘Frida’ documentary review: A story of passion and resilience, intimately told

Mar18,2024


A scene from 'Frida'

A scene from 'Frida' Photo Credit: Prime Video

The story of Frida Kahlo, one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, has been told many times over the past few decades, with Julie Taymor's 2002 film starring Salma Hayek playing the Mexican surrealist painter being the most popular of them all. It is then that the world realized that it needed to tell how this humble young Mexican girl lived so passionately, in the face of a world of suffering, painted like a dream, while pursuing her ideals of freedom And became an inspiring champion of resilience. , independent thinking, womanhood, and sexual and emotional liberation.

To tell Kahlo's story in her latest documentary film, Frieda, filmmaker Carla Gutierrez exploits a gold mine that was missed in most previous stories; The film is a first-person narrative based largely on Kahlo's own writings, letters, an illustrated diary, and interviews. Raw, heartbreakingly emotional, sharp witted, yet gentle like a child, Kahlo's words evoke thousands of waves of emotion. See how tenderly she expresses her colorful desires when she talks about what she went through while she was with her first boyfriend, Alejandro: “I am attracted to intelligent people. I choose those who I think are superior to me. My Alex. My dear Alex. I wanted Alejandro to fuck me but he liked to tell me nice things. He would recite poems and give me kisses and hugs. I believe whatever gives happiness is good. breath. Fragrance. Next. Love. Abyss.” It is a revelation to realize how much of a talented writer we missed in Kahlo.

Frida (Spanish)

director: Carla Gutierrez

mold: Frida Kahlo, Fernanda Echeverría

Order: 87 minutes

Story: a true first-person perspective of the life and career of the famous Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo

Adding to the soul-stirring narration of Fernanda Echevarría as Kahlo, Carla also uses first-person accounts of important figures from Kahlo's life – such as her husband and prominent Mexican graffiti painter Diego Rivera, and Bertram Wolfe, Rivera. – friends and American scholars, among others – tell the story of the artist's formative years: the bus accident that led to lifelong trauma, his personal and professional relationships, his passionate but turbulent marriage to Rivera, his anger toward American capitalism, And how art became his only solace, and his eventual death.

Basing the story of the 87-minute film on what Kahlo herself wanted to talk about – other sources merely add perspective – strips you of any sense of the life being intruded upon. It also acquits Carla if you sense an imbalance in the parts of the story the documentary dwells on. If anything, you're simply moved by the beauty and the pain that comes into the spotlight. Such as how Kahlo looks to her childhood to satirize theism. Or how openly she expresses her love to her many lovers. Or the chic and unwavering confidence with which she wears her clothes. It's fun to see Kahlo show Rivera's patriarchy in its place, or to see through her own words how disgusted she was at what artists and gallerists had made of Surrealism – a style of painting that she herself Presents it as “a decadent expression of bourgeois art”. ,

A scene from 'Frida'

A scene from 'Frida' Photo Credit: Prime Video

The way she talks about Rivera also makes you wonder how deep a heart must dare to go in love, so that she can still look back on the journey with fresh wounds and the innocence of falling in love. Be able to touch through memory. ,

But nothing prepares you to see how Kahlo – once talking about colors that add life to everything around her (yellow, “sun and joy,” green, “ nice warm light,” Mexican red, “old blood of the prickly pear,” and brown, “the color of mole and earth”) – now suffering from chronic pain and depression, begins to see despair even in colors (yellow, “sickness , fear, all ghosts wear this color,” red, “blood,” and black, “nothing is black, nothing really”). And yet, her journey into painting also becomes an exemplary display of resilience when you see her getting out of bed once in a while to paint. “I am not afraid of death. She says, “I must face the bitter truth that even after living many lives, there will never be enough to paint everything I want.” Painting truly fulfilled Kahlo's life, And watching one of the greatest artists of all time give her all to her art form is as powerful and deeply soul-stirring as the art she creates.

A scene from 'Frida'

A scene from 'Frida' Photo Credit: Prime Video

Victor Hernandez Stumpfhauser's warm, meditative background score, exclusive archival footage digitized for pristine quality, and Kahlo's expertly animated surreal paintings combine to create Frieda A thrilling experience. This piece of cinema can take you back to the life she lived almost a century ago, it's the closest we'll come to immortalizing Kahlo's legacy and some of the things that passed through her heart. Hours after watching the documentary on Prime Video, Kahlo's words still resonate with me.

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