(Mexico/1936) by Fred Zinnemann, Emilio Gómez Muriel
Written by: Agustín Velázquez Chávez, Paul Strand, adapted by Emilio Gómez Muriel, Fred Zinnemann and Henwar Rodakiewicz. Editing: Emilio Gómez Muriel, Gunther von Fritsch. Director of Photography: Paul Strand. Music: Silvestre Revueltas. Sound: Roberto, Joselito Rodriguez. Production Company: Secretaría de Educación Pública. Starring: Silvio Hernández (Miro), David Valle González (Monopolist), Rafael Hinojosa (Politician), Antonio Lara (El Zurdo), Miguel Figueroa and native fishermen. Running time: 61’. b&w. Language: Mexican with French/English subtitles. From: Cinemateca de la UNAM, Mexico.
Restored in 2009 by the World Cinema Foundation at Cineteca di Bologna / L’Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory.
The film – the first (and last) of its kind – was expected to play a small part in the Government’s plan to educate millions of illiterate citizens throughout the enormous country and bring them out of their isolation. […] The picture was to be made for the Federal Department of Fine Arts, headed by composer Carlos Chávez. The producer would be Paul Strand. […] We had recruited practically all ‘actors’ from among the local fishermen, who needed to do no more than be themselves. They were splendid and loyal friends, and working with them was a joy. In addition to acting, they carried all the equipment, rowed the boats and did a multitude of other jobs, earning more money than ever before – forty-five cents per day, per man – and enjoying themselves hugely. […] I’m told that some years later the Nazis found the negative in Paris and burned it. A few prints still exist.
Notes on the restoration
The restoration of Redes used the best surviving materials, namely a 35mm safety duplicate negative and a positive print preserved at the Filmoteca de la UNAM in Mexico. The digital restoration produced a new 35mm internegative.
Photo courtesy of The Ned Scott Archive: www.thenedscottarchive.com