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"Una palabra puede definirlo...dualidad"
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 04/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
This documentary is based on historian Enrique Krauze's 1987 "La Biografia del Poder," and is narrated by the author in a rapid, soft-spoken but pleasant voice. It was produced for Televisa as part of the Mexico Siglo XX series, and contains riveting archival footage of early 20th century history in Mexico, which was turbulent and full of violence. Francisco "Pancho" Villa (1878-1923) was a charismatic, complex character, who it is said was "hated by thousands and loved by millions," and is sometimes called "El Robin Hood Mexicano." Few can agree on who and what Villa was, and even his supporters would say things like "he is good at heart, but circumstances made him bad." Was he a bad man with good motives...a good man with a very dark side? Only one thing is certain, he was to play a pivotal part in Mexico's history, and watching the film footage of him (as well as his contemporaries) is fascinating viewing.
There are marvelous scenes from the Raoul Walsh 1912 documentary "The Life of Villa." One can tell looking at either still photographs or film, that Villa loved the camera, and enjoyed being "Superstar," and having a director follow him recording his every move. There is also the story of when General Pershing pursued Villa, after Villa's raid into New Mexico territory, and could not find him, admitting "Villa is everywhere...and nowhere."
Excellent for history buffs, students of Mexican culture, and those who appreciate archival films of the past, "Pancho Villa: El Angel y el Fierro" will interest many. Though the DVD box says "color," except for a brief red flame superimposed over an eye, it is b&w, and most of the footage is in exceptional condition considering its age. No subtitles available. Total running time approximately 45 minutes."