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CinesonidosFilm Music and National Identity During Mexico's Época de Oro$
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Jacqueline Avila

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190671303

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190671303.001.0001

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The Strains of the Revolution

The Strains of the Revolution

Musicalizing the Soldadera in the Revolutionary Melodrama

(p.193) 5 The Strains of the Revolution

Jacqueline Avila

Oxford University Press

Chapter 5 focuses on the revolutionary melodrama and the malleable and contested role of the soldadera (female camp follower). Building from an extensive collection of photographs and newspapers, the revolutionary melodrama became a historically complicated film genre. While the films are dominated visually and narratively by men, the soldaderas are positioned in the background, yet music about them is foregrounded. One of the leading musical figures was “La Adelita,” a popular song that circulated during the Revolution. Culturally identified as a corrido, “La Adelita” became, for the film industry, the anthem of the Revolution, recycled in varying ways. Although the song is about a soldadera, a closer examination reveals its intimate tie to male revolutionaries rather than to women. This chapter analyzes the recycled use of songs referencing the soldaderas in three films: ¡Vámonos con Pancho Villa! (1935), La Adelita (1938), and Enamorada (1946).

Keywords:   Mexican Revolution, revolutionary melodrama, Pancho Villa, corrido-canción, La Adelita, soldadera, visual archive

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