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  • Jennifer Green

Review: "Frida"

This documentary offers a fascinating and magically animated look at the life and inner thoughts of the now-well-known Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.


Frida represents an extensive labor of documentation, collection, curation, editing, and animation. The work pays off in a film that serves as both an introduction to Kahlo's life and work for those unfamiliar and a deeper dive behind the biographical details into her emotions.


The animations bring her portraits to life in a way that feels both natural and fantastical. The use of voiceovers in her and others' own words gives the sense of hearing them recount their lives. It's fascinating with this particular set of characters because they lived in such an historically important period.



So much has been written about the Surrealists in Paris, for example, but this might be the first time you've heard Kahlo describe their café culture as full of hot air, and their art movement as a "decadent manifestation of bourgeois art."


We hear a friend's eyewitness account of the bus crash that left Kahlo debilitated and in pain her whole life. We gain a true sense of Kahlo's pioneering feminism and creativity through her early push for independence, her questioning of religious doctrines, her natural explorations of bisexuality, her pledge to paint only what she knew and felt to support herself through her art, and her decision to remarry Rivera only on the condition of sharing all expenses 50/50.


This film will remind you again what a loss to the world that Kahlo didn't live past the age of 47.


 

Read the full review at CommonSenseMedia

Images courtesy of Amazon Prime Video

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