Back in 1954, the Mexican film industry released an iconic movie entitled LA REBELION DE LOS COLGADOS. Based on a novel by B. Traven, the movie told the story of a Chamula Indian family that ended up working as slaves in the mahogany rich jungles of Chiapas, illustrating the socio economic conditions prevalent during the Porfirio Dias dictatorship, which brought about the Agrarian Revolution of 1910. It goes without saying that when the movie came out, things hadn’t changed that much under the reign of the PRI, which may explain why the film begins with the disclaimer, "Today Mexico is one of the great modern democracies."
|Poster for film La Rebelión de Los Mojados, 1954|
The story of La Rebelión de los Colgados is a classic depiction of brutal oppression characteristic of feudal times juxtaposed against the era of the industrial revolution. The title derives from the depiction of workers' punishment, if they did not comply with the work assigned. Each individual was forced to cut four tons of mahogany per day, and failure to comply led to punishment: they would be hanged by their limbs from a tree. By the end, the Indians rebel, turning against the company men.