Legendary Mexican director Emilio Fernandez, who spent much of his career dramatizing the conditions of the rural poor, continued exploring this concern in the film Pueblito. A schoolteacher in a small town convinces a young engineer to visit her town for the purpose of building a new school building. However, his efforts are impeded by the corrupt mayor, even after the engineer helps save the life of the mayor’s young son. As the villagers prepare to build the school with or without the mayor’s acceptance, events become far more complicated—and dangerous—when the engineer meets the mayor’s beautiful and seductive wife. Pueblito explores the difficulties facing Mexico’s rural poor in the poetic manner of director Fernandez. —Oldies.com
If he did not already exist, it would be necessary to invent Emilio “El Indio” Fernández. His manneristic visual style, his folkloric themes and characters, and his distinctively Indian physiognomy made him an integral element of Mexico’s culture of nationalism, as well as the nation’s best-known director. Fleeing Mexico after the defeat of his faction in the rebellion of 1923, Fernández ended up digging ditches in Hollywood. As has been the case with so many Latin American artists and intellectuals, Fernández discovered his fatherland by leaving it: “I understood that it was possible to create a Mexican cinema, with our own actors and our own stories. . . . From then on the cinema became a passion with me, and I began to dream of Mexican films.” Making Mexican cinema became Fernández’s obsession and, as is so often true of cultural nationalism, a short-term gain was to turn into a long-term dead end.
Perhaps that which most distinguishes Fernández’s films is their strikingly… read more
While it’s a great film from Fernandez’ late period- or as it’s known, his decline- I want more. I enjoyed it, that’s true. But as one review said, the world moved ahead, while Fernandez remained. This film could well have been made in the 40s. He is dealing with the same themes and plot lines we know oh so well. It’s still ingenious; well written, shot, and acted. I really like it, but I want more, for his sake.
Granted, the problems he is dealing with – education and access to it, especially in the rural parts of Mexico- were still dominant ones. But his idealism is dated. He had already offered solutions to the problem in his previous films, but for some reason he keeps coming back to it. A personal crusade against poverty and ignorance and a fervent desire for Mexico to emerge as a developed nation, I suppose. However, I can understand those sentiments. Seen May 30, 2012