Revolutionary: involving or causing a complete or dramatic change.
During the Mexican revolution, artists blossomed their art around taught political-circumstances. The Mexican ruling class was building highways and railways; in addition, the government intended to follow a European style as a model of art. Meanwhile, the Mexican lower class, which was most the population in Mexico, experienced injustice, inequality, and oppression. Such conditions, inspired artist to take immense risks to portray what was truly happening not only in Mexico, but in surrounded areas near the border with the United States.
Actress, Rosaura Revueltas, it is an example of braveness and dedication for the arts. Her most important acting role took place in film called “Salt of the Earth (1954)”. Prior to this engagement, Rosaura participated in three other Telenovela-style films. However, these roles did not fulfill her as an artist. One can speculate that Rosaura noticed the extreme poverty Mexico was experiencing, and Rosaura was determined to find an acting role that makes the world know about social issues in Mexico and surrounding areas.
“EXT., QUINTERO BACKYARD. A SERIES OF SHOTS, DAY
As successive titles appear, each is matched by a view of the woman at her chores. Though at no time do see her face, we begin to gather that she is large with child. The woman carries the load of wood to an outdoor fire, staggering under its weight, the little girl following with a box of kindling . . . The woman feeds wood into the fire, on top of which is a washtub . . . She scrubs clothes in the tub, bowed to the work, the little girl watching. She wrings out articles of clothing, hangingthem on a clothesline, the little girl helping gravely” ~Salt of the Earth Script
As it can be seen the script, the content of the movie is not necessarily what the audience would enjoy/feel comfortable to see; however, art is not about only creating positive sentiments. The beauty of art goes beyond that, making the audience deeply experience an emotion is a successful piece for an artist. Rosaura and “Salt of Earth” were winners in this matter, even the United States felt threatened by the film. Audiences do not only exist in a movie theater but also in any setting. Creating an emotion of fear outside a cinema, I would call that a success.
Portraying the Esperanza Quintero was an act of braveness for Rosaura. Her acting role meant her deportation from the United States, hate from Mexicans, and a “descending” point in her career. However, as her brother Silvestre Revueltas says “critics make a mediocre work – what do they know about art? ” While it seems acting in “Salt of the Earth” was catastrophe in that period of time, I would consider it a huge victory for the development of the arts.
On the side note, Rosaura Revueltas’ siblings also made significant revolution in different manifestation of arts – The question is: What inspired several members of the Revueltas family to make a revolution in art? Was it their school, parents, or the surroundings they lived? My guess is that the Revueltas were inspired by the circumstances they were living. As I show in the picture in the opening, it is heart breaking to see children in poverty and “someone” must do something about. I think the Revueltas siblings were the people to do something about it.
By Sandra Rivera
Biberman, Michael, and Michael Wilson. “CHARACTERS.” In Salt of the Earth (1954): Shooting Script. Alexandria, VA: Alexander Street, Array. Accessed February 28, 2017. .
López Orozco, Leticia. “The Revolution, Vanguard Artists and Mural Painting.” Third Text 28, no. 3 (May 2014): 256-268. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed March 1, 2017).
Riambau, Esteve, Casimiro Torreiro, and Rosaura Revueltas. “This Film Is Going to Make History: An Interview with Rosaura Revueltas.” Cinéaste 19, no. 2/3 (1992): 50-51. http://0-www.jstor.org.lib.utep.edu/stable/41687200.
Stevenson, Robert M. Notes 48, no. 4 (1992): 1267-268. doi:10.2307/942128.