The Learned Voice of the Revolution. History, Nationalism and Identity in Early Accounts of Memorias de un mexicano (Carmen Toscano, 1950)

This article reconstructs the first critical accounts of the compilation documentary Memorias de un mexicano (Memories of a Mexican) following its commercial premiere on 24 August 1950 in Mexico City. Writing in contemporary newspapers, renowned writers, politicians, journalists and intellectuals expressed their approval and admiration for the way in which the film represented the Mexican revolution by selecting and restoring footage from Salvador Toscano’s archive, which was edited by his daughter Carmen Toscano. Such “learned voices”, with their notions of history, nationalism and identity, confirmed the authority of the voice-over that guides the narration of Memorias de un mexicano: another “learned voice” of the revolution characterised as impartial, objective and coherent. The article concludes with a reflection on the articulation of the documentary’s narrative voice, and on how it contributed to the institutionalisation of the image and the history of the revolution.

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Keywords: Carmen Toscano, Mexican revolution, compilation documentary, nationalism, identity, narrative voice.

ISSN: 2469-0767



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