Certain topics in Mexican history have not tolerated criticism and consequently have been considered taboo by filmmakers. Among them is the period during the 1930s when vast tracks of agricultural land were appropriated by powerful oil interests. Based on a story by Bruno Traven, Rosa Blanca broached that issue and was banned in Mexico until 1972 and is still one of the country’s most noted cases of censorship, in part because of Gavaldón’s status as an established commercial director. The film centers on a proud farmer, Jacinto Yanez, and his battle with an American-owned oil company. When Yanez refuses to sell the rich, fertile land his family has tilled for generations, the company hatches a plot to lure Yanez to Los Angeles where he mysteriously disappears. Once the defiant patriarch is out of the way, the bulldozers start rolling in. The highly romanticized imagery that Gavaldón uses to represent the Yanez farm makes its destruction all the more poignant and pointed as an idealized Mexico gives way to a harsh, modern reality. —UCLA Film Archive
Roberto Gavaldón (born June 7, 1909 in Jiménez, Chihuahua — died September 4, 1986 in Mexico City) was a Mexican film director. Eight of Gavaldón’s films were featured on the list 100 best movies of the cinema of Mexico. His 1958 film Ash Wednesday was entered into the 8th Berlin International Film Festival and his 1959 film Beyond All Limits was entered into the following years festival. His 1960 film Macario was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, but did not win. —Wikipedia
The story begins with a traditional and wholesome family man who refuses to sell his land to foreign oil companies, and ends with a kind of documentary telling the story of expropriation of oil in Mexico. That broadness hurts the film since the characters drop off the screen, never to be seen again, and instead we see the whole nation reacting to that monumental action. It is, however, well shot and produces.
Posiblemente, este trabajo de Gavaldón no se encuentre entre sus mejores peliculas, pero desde una perspectiva,resulta de visión obligatoria, ya que, como en el caso de La sombra del caudillo de Julio Bracho,esta cinta fue prohibida por la censura priista que imperaba en aquel entonces. Si bien la cinta fue supuestamente liberada en 1972,fue solo hasta finales de los 90 que se dió a conocer en circuitos más amplios.