Home Magazine Viva la Vida. Frida Kahlo last three written words narrate in a documentary!

It is clearly not easy to narrate Frida Kahlo story and personage without becoming obvious. It is, in fact, brave and complex to tell something new and original after all the interpretations, legends and allegories, stories, books, puppets, gadgets, International exhibitions, biographies or portraits of her as a superstar that stuffed the collective consciousness. Frida Kahlo character became pop and exotic, as it was seen from the USA when she was alive. To make her aura even bigger was the movie by Julie Taymor that, with the energic and vivid Salma Hayek interpretation, made Frida even more famous. 

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Frida Kahlo, Viva la Vida, 1954. The artist painted this work two years earlier, then added her signature, the year (1954) and the place (Coyoácan) eight days before her death.


“Viva la Vida”, the documentary by Italian director Giovanni Troilo – who recently directed also a movie about Monet and his garden in Giverny – tries to develop a different point of view to narrate the artist. This vision is tied to the Mexican earth, landscapes and inspirations, so directly bounded to Frida’s roots. This is a strong documentary on Mexican folklore, its death culture and popular belief, or the fascinating, savages and coloured atmospheres of this territory. On this mood is based Frida Kahlo docu-movie, as to moderate a story of an intense life that is going to be fully investigated to the public. A lot of people know Frida.

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Casa Azul in Coyoacán, Mexico City. 


Casa Azul in Coyoacán, Mexico City. Photo by Graciela Iturbide


The Mexican artist represents, in fact, various symbolisms as seen under different aspects and layers, both human than cultural. In her birth country, Mexico, she is considered a real Saint who is loved and idolized by women who suffered, or who need protection. From every woman then. In “Viva la Vida” the audience becomes a spectator of some of the less-known aspects of Kahlo’s life, such as some unpublished photographs, for instance, and thanks to the main focus of the narrative that starts from her land. Only few biographical references are told by Mexican witnesses such as: Hilda Trujillo, director of Frida Kahlo Museum, inside of the famous Casa Azul in Coyoacán, Mexico City, Alfredo Vilchis, miniature illustrator that interprets popular beliefs, legends and people episodes of everyday life, or Graciela Iturbide, the photographer who shows precious and unpublished black and white photos that she shot inside Frida’s bathroom, a room of the house that has been closed for fifty years, recently opened to the public.

This is the venue of Frida’s pain, where the “torture” symbols of her sufferings were kept, from her orthopaedic corset to the plaster casts, until the artificial leg. The documentary tells of course about suffering and pain then: an essential side to understand this passionate and complex character that never stops creating and living together with her life companion Diego Rivera. This woman was strong until the end in June 1954 when, just before dying, Frida wrote three simple words: Viva la Vida. 

Cover image: Frida Kahlo, portrait. 


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Frida Kahlo mania: Guendalina Sfriso and Laurina Paperina.




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