These charming home movies were made by the artists Stefan Hirsch and Elsa Rogo while living in Mexico during the 1930s and early 1940s. Included are seven small reels of black and white film, and two reels of color film, preserved with funding provided by the National Film Preservation Foundation.While there is limited documentation of the film footage, several of the reels appear to have been shot in the town of Tehuantepec, in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, and some of the footage made have been made in Taxco, located in the state of Guerrero. Shown are market scenes, people working, a procession and festival, and scenes of village life that appear to have been staged with the involvement of the villagers. Elsa Rogo ran an art school for children during her years in Taxco, and some of the kids shown in these movies may have been students of hers as well.The first reel of color film was shot on Kodachrome, with its famously rich color. The second reel of color film, shown in the last few minutes of the video, was shot on the more rare color stock known as Dufaycolor. It is rare for amateur film from this era to exist in color, because these were relatively new film stocks not widely available to consumers at the time.The Archives of American Art is committed to preserving and making available moving images and other audiovisual records in their collections for the public. We are very grateful to the National Film Preservation Foundation for their support of this project.
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