Rio Escondido (1948)
Dir. Emilio Fernandez, 1948.
Mexico, 99 minutes.
Spanish with English subtitles.
Set in Mexico's post-revolutionary period, Rosaura is a young teacher, sent by the state to teach in the remote desert village of Rio Escondido. The governance of the town is corrupt and it is the young teacher's mission to teach the villagers and help undo the insidious corruption that threatens the very lives of those living there as a drought takes hold and water becomes a more precious resource. Unfolding as a fairly traditional drama, the cinematography and visual work of the director are best characterized as steady and reflective, featuring the symbolism of the new state with an opening sequence set against the work of Diego Rivera, questioning patriotism, collectivism, and the justification of vigilante action for the benefit of all.