The vast majority of people today believe that Hollywood is and has always been the center of the movie industry. However, this is not the case. During the time between 1930s and 1960s, Mexico was a true cinema Mecca. No other country in the world could compete with Mexico in the sheer number of excellent filmmakers who produced numerous masterpieces. The Golden Age of Mexican Cinema was an important step in the development of the movie industry.
One of the main reasons that led to the beginning of the Golden Age was immigration. Many talented European artists, filmmakers and writers moved to Mexico trying to escape the nightmare that descended upon Europe. Alfredo B. Crevenna, who was born in Germany, became the most prolific director in Mexico and played an important part in the rise of the industry. Emilio Fernandez and Fernando de Fuentes also were other geniuses who contributed the art of moviemaking creating genuine masterpieces. Unfortunately, silent movies did not have much success in the South American countries as the vast majority of the public were illiterate.
Progress in the filmmaking technology changed this and allowed numerous directors to fully unleash their talents. Their works were mostly nationalized in order to promote the development of national identity among the public. However, this only served to improve the quality of the movies. Adding a bit of specific national flavor and aesthetics made the films truly charming.
It is rather interesting that the major contributor to the development of nationalized Mexican cinema was a foreigner. He was an immigrant from the Soviet Union named Sergei Einstein. One of his movies, that has not even been finished, Que viva Mexico made such a strong impact on the other directors, that one can notice its influence in almost all other major works of the Golden Age. Einstein himself claimed that his movies were inspired by the beauty of traditional Mexican arts.
Unfortunately, today few people know about this important period in the history of moviemaking. The masterpieces that contributed so much to the development of this art have been forgotten. Their influence goes unrecognized. Though should one study these films, you will definitely notice that more than one movie popular today clearly bears the marks of those Mexican directors. The Golden Age came to a close in the late 1950s, taking the movie industry of Mexico down with it.
People, who are genuinely interested in the art of cinema, should study the masterpieces created during the Golden Age of the Mexican cinema. These films deserve a special place in the history of moviemaking.