“This film is going to make History” are the words of a woman with fighter instinct, maybe She had it in her blood. A woman who has grown in a revolutionary artistic and cultural environment. She was born in the same year of which the history of the Mexican revolution dates. However, her big struggle was made it from United States and for the people of America with the film called “Salt of the earth” (1953), produced by blacklisted Hollywood filmmakers. Directed by Herbert Biberman, this film with Rosaura Revuelta as Esperanza as main character, was about to make history.
Esperanza was the name of the character of Rosaura Revueltas in Salt of the earth. “Esperanza” also, means “Hope” in Spanish. This woman full of hope always being attractive by the thirst of justice and the desires to transcend. All the Revueltas siblings were Influenced by the artistic flow of his family, specially of Silvestre, the older brother.
According to Maria Revueltas, one of the last siblings of the Revueltas Family, the artistic gifts came from her mother. A simple person who had not had much culture. They were a very close brothers. They grew up in a special cultural environment:
“Las cosas artisticas de los Revueltas, creo yo, en primer lugar pueden venir de mi madre. Que mi madre, siendo una persona muy sencilla y que no habia tenido mucha cultura, era muy romantica, hacía versos … amaba el arte y queria que todos sus hijos que tuviera fueran artistas.”1
She says that her mother loved the art and wanted that all her sons were artist. She remembered that in her house, the brothers had to study piano as soon as they started walking:
“En mi casa se tenia que estudiar el piano en cuanto empezaba uno a andar (caminar).”1
She talks about a family without envy, without grudges. They respected each other:
“En mi familia no hubo envidias, no hubo rencores, no hubo ninguna de esas cosas. Sabiamos que Silvestre valia mucho, que Fermin pintaba muy bien, … pero nunca sentimos envidia uno de otro, ni rencores, ni nos peleabamos. Todos eramos bien recibidos unos por otros.” 1
Therefore, we can say that after the big problems that the film “salt of the earth” made, Rosaura always had the uncondinional support of his brothers, such as the case in which found in a letter of to Rosaura Revueltas from his brother Jose on November 16th 1955. When he talks about helping her to return to work in Mexico:
“Para el año entrante, creo firmemente que se nos compondrán las cosas. He repasado y reescrito en parte La Santa, porque se presentan posibilidades de que por fin la hagamos. Por lo pronto espero dirigir una pelicula los primeros meses del año para que de este modo a tu regreso ya tengamos una base mejor.”5
Actually it seems like He was trying to convince her to return to succeed in her country:
“Es preciso que me mandes toda clase de recortes de prensa, etcetera, de ser possible traducidos, sobre todo tu trabajo allá. No dejes de hacerlo. Debes comprender que para una actriz no es cosa de modestia, falta de modestia o lo que sea, si no que precisa forzosamente una cierta publicidad, legitima, honorable, pero que es necesaria en absolute. Aqui en Mexico – y sobre todo nuestro espantable medio cinematografico-, require que se le estéen recordando a las gentes. Yo podria meter informacion en los periódicos, para que se den cuenta de lo que haces y lleguen a comprender lo imbéciles que son al no aprovecharte en tu propio pais.” (“You need to send me all sorts of press clippings, etcetera, if possible translated, especially your work there. Do not stop doing it. You must understand that for an actress is not a thing of modesty, lack of modesty or whatever, but that it necessarily requires some publicity, legitimate, honorable, but that is absolutely necessary. Here in Mexico- and above all our frightening cinematic medium- requires that they be remembered by the people. I could put information in the newspapers, so that they realize what you do and come to understand how stupid they are to not appreciate you in your own country.”) 5
We can notice what her brother was trying to help her in this difficult situation. As well as her brothers, she was struck by the political situation of the moment. Rosaura wrote about she was learning a lot in the theater, however politics:
“ ….. estoy trabajando mucho, tratando de aprender lo mas possible en todos los sentidos, tambien politicamente, aprovechando todo lo que el teatro pone a nuestro alcance. Tenemos periodicamente asambleas donde se tratan y discuten los eventos del momento, que son de enorme importancia.” (“I am working hard, trying to learn as much as possible in every way, also politically, taking advantage of everuthing that the theater has within our reach. We have periodical assemblies where the events of the moment are discussed, which are of enourmous importance”). 6
Her brother Silvestre just like her always shows a desire to get ahead an excel by taking the pride of his people to places inconceivable:
“El artista, para ser verdaderamente fuerte, require en la actualidad no solo talento, técnica, ímpetu creador, sino también velar cuidadosamente porque estas cualidades estén al servicio exclusive de una causa social justa; la única: la de la liberación proletaria y a su cultura.” (“ the artist, in order to be truly strong, nowadays requires not only talet, technique, creative momentum, but also to watch carefully because of a just social cause; the only one: that of proletarian liberation and its culture”) 2
It was no surprising that the great Silvestre and his brothers had that courage and constant claw in each of his works, his passions and even in his way of taking with his brothers. Silvestre says:
“Necesitamos trazarnos una linea recta de trabajo y arte, si somos honrados y jóvenes, y altaneros e independientes.“ (“We need to draw a straight line of work and art, if we are honest and young, and haughty and independent.”) 3
Something that identifies Rosaura in her work in the “salt of the earth” is the faith that she had in this film although she would know that there might be some problems. She always wanted to cross that line that divides justice and faith. She thought she would make history in this movie. Shae was moved by the desire to defend the bottom and change the destiny, as well as her brother Silvestre who said:
“Compañeros, debemos tener una enorme fe, una confianza ilimitada en el destino de la nueva humanidad, y ese destino esta próximo a cumplirse” (“Companions, we must have great faith, unlimited trust in the destiny of the new humanity, and that destiny is nearing completion.”) 4
The film “salt of the earth” reminds me the film ” Redes” and the music of her brother always accompanied to the desire to be revealed and seek justice. Wanting or unintentionally she got into a situation that would mark her forever in her artistic career. Despite being vetoed in Hollywood and nobody wanted to work with Her in Mexico, this left her marked in politics. Her hope did not disappoint. She was really making history. She was an authentic Revueltas.
1.Page of Olivia Revueltas, Grandaughter of Jose Revueltas.
“Entrevista a Maria Revueltas para el canal de I.P. N. “
(Permiso otorgado por el I. P. N. Mexico, para la exibición de éste video.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sb0OorSw7IU
(accesed February 16,2017).
- Revueltas, Silvestre Revueltas por él mismo: apuntes autobiograficos, diarios, correspondencia y otros escritos de un agran músico. Page 187
- Revueltas, Silvestre Revueltas por él mismo: apuntes autobiograficos, diarios, correspondencia y otros escritos de un agran músico Page 183
- Revueltas, Silvestre Revueltas por él mismo: apuntes autobiograficos, diarios, correspondencia y otros escritos de un agran músico. Page 209
- Revueltas, José. Los Revueltas, 1987. Carta para Rosaura Revueltas. Mexico, D.F. 16 Nov. 1955
Los Revueltas 1987 v. II, 13- 14.
- Revueltas, Rosaura. Los Revueltas, 1987. Carta para José Revueltas. Berlín, Alemania. 12 Sept. 1956
Los Revueltas. Mexico: Grijalbo, 1979, P. 167.