Frida | Chicago Reader

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Paul Leduc (Reed: Insurgent Mexico) gives us fragments from the life of painter and left-wing activist Frida Kahlo, presented in achronological flashbacks from her deathbed that eventually become more orderly. As with most biopics about artists, this 1985 film treats Kahlo's life and work as almost interchangeable; it's meditative, mainly visual (dialogue is kept to a minimum, and the striking, rich colors do full justice to Kahlo's palette), and only intermittently dramatized. The overall effect is rather static, and Leduc supplies too little information for a comprehensive reading of Kahlo's life and work, though her husband Diego Rivera and her association with Leon Trotsky are treated in some detail. Ofelia Medina is impressive and persuasive in the title role, and Juan Jose Gurrola and Max Kerlow offer believable versions of Rivera and Trotsky. In Spanish with subtitles. 108 min.

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