Director: Walter Doehner.

Starring: Demian Bichir (Emiliano Zapata), Lorena Rojas (Rosa Maria Rendon), Rogelio Guerra (Don Eugenio Rendon), Carlos Torres Torija (Fernando Cevallos), Jovana Zacarias (Josefa Espejo).

Format: Color

Time: 4 hrs, 18 minutes


Good movie. The general facts about the famous Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata are true, but the basic triangular love story is fiction. Zapata (Demian Bichir) in 1909 worked as a Horse Master in the house of Ignacio de la Torre y Mier, son-in-law of the dictator Porfirio Diaz. At a rodeo he meets and falls in love with the daughter, Rosa Maria Rendon (Lorena Rojas), of an English large estate owner, Don Eugenio Rendon (Rogelio Guerra). And, Rosa Maria is impressed by the rodeo champion Zapata.

To complicate things, Captain Fernando Cevallos (Carlos Torres Torija) is in loves with Rosa Maria, while a peasant woman, Josefa Espejo (Jovana Zacarias), is in love with Zapata. Rosa Maria’s father wants her to marry the Captain, but she has no interest in the military man. She has fallen in love with Zapata and wants to be with him.

At a meeting of the village committee of Anenecuilco, Zapata is chosen to be the president of the new town defense counsel. There is big trouble in town as the army is forcibly pushing the Indian peasants off their land at the behest of the large land owners who then grab the land.

On November 20, 1910 Francisco Madero reenters Mexico with a small force of men and begins the Mexican Revolution. Zapato and his people support Madero with Zapata’s small force taking the city of Cuautla.

Because Zapato fights against the landlords, he is the enemy of the big land owners. He is a threat because he wants them to give much of their lands back to the original Indian owners and Don Eugenio and the Captain want Zapata dead in the worst way.

Josefa tries really hard to catch the attention of Zapata with little success. He only has eyes for Rosa Maria. But it appears that a lasting relationship and marriage between Zapata and the daughter of a large land owner is impossible given all the barriers to such a connection. And as Zapata becomes more famous, the pressure against him increases and the desperate Captain even resorts to framing Zapata for an attack on the land and family of Rosa Maria.

Will love triumph after all or will it be stopped by the many obstacles between the couple?

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.

Historical Background:

See Viva Zapata (1952).





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