Juliet Barrett Rublee
Feminist activist Juliet Barrett Rublee worked with Margaret Sanger in the US birth control movement and also produced perhaps the first US feature motion picture made entirely in Mexico—Flame of Mexico (1932), also known as The Soul of Mexico, The Heart of Mexico and Alma Mexicana. Made at the dawn of the sound era, Flame of Mexico was silent with a musical score. It is an unusual film that began with Rublee’s aspirations to make a travelogue, but ended up a historical melodrama, and thus in the extant print we see the conventions of both at work. For the most part, Rublee and Flame have been left out of written histories of film although both are mentioned briefly in Aurelio de los Reyes’s Filmografía del cine mudo mexicano and in Rangel and Portas’s Enciclopedia Cinematográfica Mexicana. Yet both are central to understanding the conditions under which a distinctive alternative visual discourse on Mexico became available to American as well as Mexican viewers.
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