SATURDAY, April 5, 2014
10:30 am
Mexican Cultural Institute
2829 16th St. NW, Washington DC 20009
Free Parking. Metro accessible (Columbia Heights)

This season’s PostClassical Ensemble Book Club event features the Marlon Brando film Viva Zapata! (1952), scripted by John Steinbeck.  The assigned book is John Steinbeck’s Zapata.   Join us for a screening and discussion, led by Georgetown University’s John Tutino (a historian of Mexico and its revolutions) and Jorge Hernandez (Mexican historian and writer).

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 6.00.04 PM 
 Like Aaron Copland, Paul Strand, and many others from the U.S., John Steinbeck (who spoke Spanish) was galvanized by the Mexico he discovered in the 1930’s – the land, its people, and the prospect of radical social and political change. he wrote a treatment for a film on the life and times of martyred revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, a text long lost and now published as Zapata, which reflected his optimism. And yet the Viva Zapata! film project in which he participated projects a different perception of Mexico ensnared in the politics of the Cold War and the Red Scare. Elia Kazan, the film’s director, was called to D.C. to name names before the House Un-American Activities Committee (he had been told by Darryl Zanuck that the fiml would otherwise be abandoned). And – as documented in Steinbeck’s Zapata – the script had undergone a fundamental change of its own.  Compared to the iconic Mexican film masterpiece Redes (to be screened with live music May 10), Viva Zapata! fails to capture the Mexico that inspired and amazed John Steinbeck. Why? What happened? How were the best intentions squandered and distorted? Read Steinbeck’s original vision in Zapata, come and join us in viewing Viva Zapata!, and explore with us why and how a vision of Mexico as a land of promise in the 1930s became something else in the 1950s.  With the participation of Angel Gil-Ordóñez and Joseph Horowitz, PostClassical Ensemble’s music and executive directors.


This event is the KICKOFF EVENT of PCE’s
Mexican Revolution Festival

The Conference:
Redes and Revolution: Music, Film, and History in Mexico and Veracruz, 1910-1940
Friday, April 11
Georgetown University
curated by John Tutino

The Talk:
Revueltas and Mexican Identity
Wednesday, May 7
Mexican Cultural Institute
Roberto Kolb, scholar

The Gala Dinner:
Thursday, May 8
Mexican Cultural Institute
hosted by the Ambassador of Mexico to the United States

The Concert and Film Screening:
Redes and Eugenia León
Saturday, May 10
Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland
featuring Eugenia León, Mexican popular singer
PostClassical Ensemble, conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez

 Special funding for this concert was generously furnished by AHMSA International, Inc., Chevron Corporation, the Embassy of Mexico-Mexican Cultural Institute, Asociación de Empresarios Mexicanos, Emerging America, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Conaculta, the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, and MARPAT Foundation.