Critical Commentaries


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Critical Commentaries

Item #1: A Work of Art. Zapatista Landscape, 1915 by Diego Rivera

The work of Art Zapatista Landscape was a creation of Diego Rivera of 1915. Zapata was known to be a leader of a peasant revolt south of Mexico City at the time of the Mexican revolution. I settled on this work of art as I found it especially intriguing. The fact that Rivera employed Picasso’s Cubism makes it a revolutionary subject. It is almost as if the image is elusive. I see many combined and widely circulated images of a face, a rifle, a shadow, and even a hat. To see these figures, one must play close attention as the images are elusive and seem to fade away within a matter of minutes. I selected this image because I wanted to delve more into how River came up with this image. He managed to effortlessly curve up a human head and torso while not exactly forming a figure. To say the least, I find his skill iconic. The fact that that alleged figure is holding a black rifle that cuts the image across diagonally is also phenomenal. Not many artistic can easily pull such a stunt. The artwork also shows various outdoor elements, including a sombrero, a serape, a cartridge, a rifle, a wooden box, and the hills of Mexico, making the image even more outstanding. Worth noting, I is almost as if the main image is hanging from the sky as if it is floating. This is another surprising component of this image that I found interesting. These are the qualities that made me want to review the artwork of the Zapatista landscape by Diego Rivera.

Item #2: A Photograph: Worker’s Hand (1927) by Tina Modotti

The Worker’s Hand (1927) photograph is an image of a pair of hands resting on a working tool. It is hard to tell whether the person is a man or woman. However, it is no doubt that the person is a worker or laborer in Mexico. The photo was captured by Tina Modotti in 1927. I decided to review this specific photo because when I first saw the photograph, I was immediately captivated by its sight. I was drawn to the amount of detail that Modotti showcases on the photo from the dirty coast in the background and the dusty hands of the person in the photo. Upon seeing this photo, I had a million questions in my mind. I immediately wanted to know who the person was, where they are from, their story, and why they were in such a dirty and seemingly sad state. The photo tries to communicate a message of the realities of hard work. The worker seems tired and worn out, as evidenced in their dirty tool, hands, and clothes. The individual also seems to be holding on to the shovel or tool for dear life as if it was their only source of hope. This points to menial jobs being their only source of livelihood. I can only imagine how difficult life is for low-income workers. The mentioned aspects only made me want to find out more about the photograph of the pair of hands resting on a tool.

Item #3: A Film Still. The Pearl (1947)

The Pearl 1947 film directed by Emilio Fernandez, stars Pedro Armendariz, Fernando, Wagner, and Maria Elena. Its writers include Emilio Fernandez, John Steinbeck, and Jack Wagner. The Mexican-American film follows Quino, a pearl diver, and highlights man’s purpose for evil, greed, and defiance of societal norms. I decided upon reviewing this specific film because I was curious to know more about how the life of Kino changed. I was amazed that the discovery of a pearl could transform the lives of a poor small Mexican family whose livelihood was fishing. I wanted to know more about what the fisherman was prepared to do to keep the precious pearl and his helpless family out of danger. Since thieves were after the pearl, I wanted to know what he was prepared to do to avert them. I found the plot interesting. The plot builds up slowly, and the audience gets to see Juana and Quino when they are escaping from their assailants. They face lots of problems, including their son getting bitten by a scorpion and the audience gets to witness it as it slowly unfolds. Another reason why I selected this film is that I found the book captivating. It has a lot of suspense which is exactly what draws me to movies. It was also easy to follow which made want to keep finding out more about what happens next.