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‘Frida’ film review

Rachel Thompson, Fine Arts Editor

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Frida Kahlo was someone who went through great pain and it showed through her art”

— Film professor and festival director, Gary Zaro.

Directed by Julie Taymor


Written by Clancy Sigal, Diane Lake, Gregory Nava, Anna Thomas, and Hayden Herrera (book)


Produced by Mark Amin, Brian Gibson, Mark Gill, Jill Sobel Messick, Margaret Rose Perenchio, Amy Slotnick, and Salma Hayek



Salma Hayek (Frida Kahlo)

Alfred Molina (Diego Rivera)

Antonio Bandereas (David Alfaro Siqueiros)

Mia Maestro (Cristina Kahlo)

Valeria Golino (Lupe Marin)

Diego Luna (Alex)

Roger Rees (Guillermo Kahlo)

Edward Norton (Nelson Rockefeller)

Saffron Burrows (Gracie)

Ashley Judd (Tina Modotti

Geoffrey Rush (Leon Trotsky)


Rated R for sexuality, nudity and language.


On Sept. 2, Paradise Valley Community College began its 17th annual film festival with “Frida.” “Frida” can be described as a complex story about Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Aside from artwork, the film also explores other aspects of Kahlo’s life. Sex, seduction, sexuality, pain and tragedy is what “Frida” is all about.


The film “Frida” is about the heartbreaking life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. The film starts off with Frida as an adolescent who enjoys getting involved in shenanigans with friends at school. During this time, she meets her future husband — Diego Rivera. Kahlo and friends spot Rivera painting a portrait of a naked woman who is interrupted by his wife because she is concerned that he will cheat on her with the model. On that day, Kahlo leaves the school with her friend to go home on a bus. The vehicle collides with a streetcar causing injuries to Kahlo that include fractures to her spine and pelvis.

After staying in the hospital for a few weeks, Kahlo is later transported to be bedridden in her home. She begins painting during her recovery and finishes her first self-portrait the following year. Kahlo reconnected with Rivera in 1928. He supported her artwork and the two began a relationship. The couple married a year after.


Kahlo incorporated her life experiences into her artwork. Most of her work is graphic, realistic, and extreme. “A Few Small Nips” is one of Kahlo’s famous pieces. It displays the devastating occurrence of a miscarriage. Kahlo did not sugarcoat her work. As the director of the PVCC Film Festival, Gary Zaro, said, “Frida Kahlo was someone who went through a lot of great pain and it showed through her paintings.”   


The film vaguely portrays Diego Rivera as a cheater. Although, he does sleep with other women throughout the film, Frida is the only wife of his that truly does come to terms with his characteristics and eventually accepts him for who he is. They both accept each other’s imperfections and perfections.


Whilst there are dark moments, “Frida” is a great adaption. The film is strong on an educational level, it influences viewers to know more about Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. “Frida” is also an inspiring story. Frida Kahlo was a person who went through a lot of tribulations but kept moving forward and never gave up her craft and passion for painting.


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‘Frida’ film review