Viva Zapata! (1952) – Elia Kazan

Michael Capicotto

Abstract


Historical events portrayed in Hollywood productions often manipulate facts in an attempt to follow a particular storyline or theme established by the director. In the case of Elia Kazan’s Viva Zapata!, the manipulation of historical facts is used to condense the events of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920) in to a 113 minute production. As a result, Viva Zapata! contains several historical inaccuracies and fictional characters, and fails to reference several important events in an attempt to illustrate the role of Emiliano Zapata during the Mexican Revolution. Moreover, it is the presence of these historical inaccuracies and fictional characters which allows Kazan to properly characterize Emiliano Zapata in such a short period of time.

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