AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
Name Occurs Before Title Offscreen Credit Print Viewed By AFI
Frida
Director: Julie Taymor (Dir)
Release Date:   25 Oct 2002
Premiere Information:   Venice Film Festival opening: 29 Aug 2002; World Premiere in Toronto, Canada: 5 Sep 2002
Production Date:   7 Apr--Jul 2001 at Estudios Churubusco Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico
Duration (in mins):   122-123
Print this page
Display Movie Summary


Cast:   Salma Hayek (Frida Kahlo)  
    Mia Maestro (Christina Kahlo)  
    Amelia Zapata (Maid)  
    Alejandro Usigli (Professor)  
    Diego Luna (Alejandro "Alex")  
    Alfred Molina (Diego Rivera)  
    Lucia Bravo (Auditorium model)  
    Valeria Golino (Lupe Marín)  
    Patricia Reyes Spindola (Matilde Kahlo)  
    Lolo Navarro (Nanny)  
    Roger Rees (Guillermo Kahlo)  
    Fermin Martinez (Painter on bus)  
    Roberto Medina (Dr. Farril)  
    Ashley Judd (Tina Modotti)  
    Antonia Banderas (David Alfaro Siqueiros)  
    Lila Downs (Tango singer)  
    Martha Claudia Moreno (Woman at wedding)  
    Maria Ines Pintado (Woman at wedding)  
    Aida Lopez (Lupe's maid)  
    Ivana Sejenovich (Chapingo chapel model)  
    Diego Espinoza (Pulquería singer)  
    Ehecatl Chavez (Drunk young man)  
    Elliot Goldenthal (Newsreel reporter)  
    Edward Norton (Nelson Rockefeller)  
    Saffron Burrows (Gracie)  
    Didi Conn (Waitress)  
    Julian Sedgwik (NY reporter)  
    William Raymond (NY doctor)  
    Jorge Guerrero (Priest at funeral)  
    Mary Luz Palacio (Isolda)  
    Geoffrey Rush (Leon Trotsky)  
    Margarita Sanz (Natalia Trotsky)  
    Omar Rodriguez (André Breton)  
    Anthony Alvarez (Trotsky's armed sentry)  
    Enoc Leaño (Trotsky's armed sentry)  
    Karine Plantadit-Bageot (Paris chanteuse)  
    Chavela Vargas (Death "La Pelona")  
    Jorge Zepeda (Detective)  

Summary: In 1922 Mexico City, capricious schoolgirl Frida Kahlo lives with her father Guillermo, a German-Jewish photographer, and her stern Mexican-Indian mother Matilde in their family home, Casa Azul. One day Frida and her boyfriend Alex sneak into an auditorium and catch muralist Diego Rivera seducing his model. Frida startles the couple and tells the married Diego that she is “just keeping him honest.” Days later, when Frida dresses as a man for the family portrait at her sister Cristina’s wedding, Guillermo indulges her, believing in her creativity and independence, despite Matilde’s protests. One day in 1925, Frida is on a crowded city bus when a collision with a trolley crushes her leg and leaves her with severe spinal injuries. During subsequent grueling operations, Frida dreams of broken bones and the taunting skeletons of doctors and nurses talking about her slim chances for survival. After three weeks, Frida returns home in a full body cast to find that her beloved Alex is leaving for Paris. In order to endure the heartbreak and excruciating pain, Frida determinedly begins to draw, covering her cast in bright butterflies. Her parents, although nearly bankrupt from the operations, buy her an easel and place a mirror in the canopy above her bed, thus enabling Frida to begin a series of self-portraits. After an extensive recovery period, Frida regains her ability to walk and decides to take her paintings to the now famous Diego. After warning him that she is aware of his womanizing, Frida demands his honest opinion. Diego sincerely compliments her talents and invites her to a “radical” party held at photographer Tina Modotti’s house. At the party, Diego’s second wife Lupe Marín scoffs at Frida, insinuating that she is just another of Diego’s many lovers. Late that night, when Diego argues with competing painter David Alfaro Siqueiros about Communist politics, David retorts that the rich hire Diego only to “assuage their sense of guilt.” Infuriated, Diego shoots at David, but misses. Trying to break the tension, Tina offers to dance with the winner of a drinking contest. Frida quickly swallows half a bottle of liquor and leads Tina in a sultry dance. Over the following months, Diego, a Communist party leader, introduces Frida to a fervent political life and makes her his studio protégé. After he proposes that they take a vow to be only friends and colleagues, Frida kisses him. When a fun-loving affair grows into a romance, Diego proposes to Frida, promising to be loyal but not faithful. During the marriage ceremony, the middle-class Frida wears brightly colored traditional Mexican dress, which becomes her signature style and reflects her and Diego’s interest in pre-Hispanic Mexican culture. Soon after, Frida learns that Diego has leased an apartment to Lupe upstairs. Frida is furious, but after time, she and Lupe develop a friendship that helps Frida cope with Diego’s voracious appetite for food and women. When Diego is offered a solo show at a New York museum, the couple moves there. While Diego works and continues to have affairs, Frida entertains herself with the city’s attractions, movies and affairs of her own. While watching King Kong one day, Frida fantasizes that Diego is Kong and that she is his helpless victim. Although Diego enjoys his success and ensuing popularity in the New York art world, Frida despises the pretentious, ambitious crowd. Months into their stay, Frida becomes pregnant, but loses the child in a traumatic miscarriage. Demanding to see her child, Frida is given the miscarried fetus in a bottle of formaldehyde, which becomes a subject of her drawings. Soon after her recovery, Frida is called home to be with her dying mother, while Diego remains in New York to finish a mural for the Rockefeller Center lobby. When Diego refuses to remove a portrait of Lenin from the painting, Nelson Rockefeller orders the mural destroyed. As hundreds of people protest outside the building, Frida, who has returned to New York, assures Diego that his success resides in arousing the people’s passions and ideals, not in the finished work. After a Chicago commission is canceled that winter, the couple returns to Mexico City, where they live in separate studios connected by a bridge. Frida then hires divorced and impoverished Cristina to work with the depressed Diego in the studio, but soon after discovers Diego and her sister having sex. Pained by the betrayal, Frida announces to Diego, “There have been two accidents in my life. The trolley and you. You are by far the worst.” Moving into a run-down apartment, Frida shears her long hair and begins drinking heavily while continuing her work. Months later, on the Day of Dead, Diego finds Frida at her mother’s grave and asks her to take Communist Russian political refugee Leon Trotsky and his wife Natalia into Casa Azul, where they will be protected by armed guards. Frida graciously invites the couple to the family home, where, during dinners with Diego, Frida and other compatriots, the charismatic Trotsky warns that both Hitler and Stalin have fallen victim to their own power. Frida, now accompanied by her pet monkey, continues to paint, creating surreal landscapes and cityscapes filled with death and suffering. One day on a group outing to the ruins of the Teotihuacan Pyramids, Trotsky compliments Frida on her ability to express universal pain and loneliness through her paintings, but Frida has little confidence in her work despite selling paintings to collectors. As the weeks pass, Frida and Trotsky grow closer and an affair begins, but when Natalia learns of the infidelity, Trotsky moves with his wife to another house. Frida explains to Diego that Trotsky sacrificed his pleasure with Frida to save his marriage, accusing Diego of being incapable of such depth of feeling. Offered a solo show in Paris, Frida enjoys a series of affairs there, but misses Diego and attributes the show’s success to Mexican exoticism. Soon after, when Trotsky and Natalia are murdered in Mexico, Diego asks Frida for a divorce and flees to California to avoid a possible Mexican jail sentence for his association with Trotsky. When Frida refuses to reveal Diego’s location during police interrogations, she is sentenced to prison, where she suffers a physical decline from the harsh conditions. After she is finally freed with Diego’s help, several of her toes must be amputated due to gangrene. Relegated to a wheelchair and forced to live in a cumbersome back brace, Frida continues to make self-portraits revealing the torture of living in her body. Diego, now wealthy from his commissions, misses Frida’s companionship and asks to marry her again. They move back into Casa Azul, where Cristina cares for her ailing sister, giving her daily injections to relieve her pain. In 1953, on the eve of her first solo exhibition in Mexico, Frida’s physician refuses her request to leave her bed and attend the opening; however, during Diego’s speech praising Frida’s ingenuity, to everyone’s surprise, Frida is carted into the gallery still in her bed. Two weeks before their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, Frida gives her husband a silver ring to celebrate and asks that he cremate her upon her death. She writes in her journal, “I hope the exit is joyful and I hope never to return,” and dreams of her bed alight with fireworks that burn her body as she peacefully sleeps. 

Production Company: Ventanarosa Production  
  Lions Gate Films  
  Miramax Film Corp. (The Walt Disney Company)
Production Text: A
A film by Julie Taymor
A Ventanarosa Production
Distribution Company: Miramax Film Corp. (The Walt Disney Company)
Director: Julie Taymor (Dir)
  Adrian Grunberg (1st asst dir)
  Peter Thorell (Key 2d asst dir)
  Alyson Latz (2d asst dir)
  Hugo Gutierrez (2d 2d asst dir)
Producer: Sarah Green (Prod)
  Salma Hayek (Prod)
  Jay Polstein (Prod)
  Lizz Speed (Prod)
  Nancy Hardin (Prod)
  Lindsey Flickinger (Prod)
  Roberto Sneider (Prod)
  Margaret Rose Perenchio (Exec prod)
  Brian Gibson (Exec prod)
  Mark Amin (Exec prod)
  Mark Gill (Exec prod)
  Jill Sobel Messick (Exec prod)
  Amy Slotnick (Exec prod)
  Ann Ruark (Co-prod)
Writer: Clancy Sigal (Scr)
  Diane Lake (Scr)
  Gregory Nava (Scr)
  Anna Thomas (Scr)
  Edward Norton (Contr wrt)
Photography: Rodrigo Prieto (Dir of photog)
  Serguei Saldivar Tanaka (2d unit dir of photog)
  Antonio Riestra (2d unit dir of photog)
  Arturo Castañeda (1st asst cam)
  Jose Gutierrez (2d unit 1st asst cam)
  Edgar Hurtado (2d asst cam)
  Noe Muñoz (Cam loader)
  Gerardo Manjarrez (Steadi-cam op)
  Peter Sorel (Still photog)
  Eszter Zakarias (Asst still photog)
  Benito Aguilar (Gaffer)
  Carlos Sanchez (Best boy elec)
  Luis Lara (Company elec)
  Victor Ramirez (Company elec)
  Eduardo Oviedo (Company elec)
  Jose Luis Sanchez (Company elec)
  Mauricio Vega (Company elec)
  Jesus Gonzalez 'Moroco' (Rigging gaffer)
  Manuel Garcia (Rigging elec)
  Saul Dominguez (Rigging elec)
  Ricardo Hernandez (Rigging elec)
  Adolfo Rodriguez (Rigging elec)
  Florentino Aguilar (2d unit elec)
  Roberto Gutierrez (2d unit elec)
  Nestor Martinez (2d unit elec)
  Jorge Gonzalez (2d unit elec)
  Roberto Cardenas (2d unit elec)
  Jesus Labastida (Key grip)
  Alfredo Audel (Best boy grip)
  Juan Carlos Rodriguez (Company grip)
  Javier Labastida (Company grip)
  Andres Medina (Dolly grip)
  Cruz Paredes (2d unit grip)
  Isaac Gomez (2d unit grip)
  Panavision Dallas (Grip and lighting provided by)
Art Direction: Felipe Fernández del Paso (Prod des)
  Maria Luisa Guala (Asst to prod des)
  Bernardo Trujillo (Art dir)
  Alida Castelan (Art dept coord)
  Regina Cinta (Asst to art dir)
  Gian Amara (Asst art dir)
  Raymundo Cabrera (Asst art dir)
  Rafael Mandujano (Graphic des)
  Emilio Portes (Storyboard artist)
  Juan Carlos Manjarrez (Storyboard artist)
  Dionisio Ceballos (Head artist)
  Frida and Diego''s painting teams: Mariano Grimaldo (Head artist)
  Oscar Ojeda (Artist)
  Adriana Balvanera (Artist)
  Neyla Martínez (Artist)
  María E. Franco (Artist)
  Daniel Salgado (Artist)
  Arturo Lazcano (Artist)
  Luis Garduño (Artist)
  Alejandro Del Toro (Artist)
  Victor Salomón (Artist)
  Alejandro Isita (Artist)
  Paolo Guerrero (Painter's intern)
  Marité Márquez (Painter's intern)
  Raúl Del Olmo (Painter's intern)
  Donna Rubin (Title calligraphy)
Film Editor: Françoise Bonnot (Ed)
  Bob Allen (Assoc ed)
  Zeborah Tidwell (Asst ed)
  David Kaldor (Asst ed)
  Edgar Pavon (Asst ed)
  Deluxe Laboratory, Los Angeles (Lab services)
  Viv Kim Negative Cutting, Inc. (Negative cutter)
  Spera Corporation, R & C (Post prod film equipment)
  Entertainment Post (Video dailies)
Set Decoration: Hannia Robledo (Set dec)
  Julieta Alvarez Icaza (Asst set dec)
  Jay Aroesty (Leadman)
  Mercedes Moreno (Set dressing coord)
  Pia Ana Corti (Head sculptor)
  Hector A. Del Moral (Sculptor)
  Eugenia Ogarrio (Lead scenic)
  Roberto Bonelli (Sr set des)
  Jorge Sanz (Jr set des)
  Raul Ramirez (Scenographer)
  Miguel Cervantes 'Tyson' (Set dresser)
  Jose A. Martinez (On-set dresser)
  German Manuel Cruz (Swing gang)
  Joel Romo (Swing gang)
  Julian Navarro (Swing gang)
  Luis Canedo (Swing gang)
  Heriberto Mayen (Warehouse keeper)
  Arturo Garcia (Set dresser prod asst)
  Gilberto Cortes (Prop master)
  Alejandra Quijano (Prop dept coord)
  Ramiro Martinez (Asst prop master)
  Antonio Godinez (Asst prop master)
  Edgar Lezama 'Chivata' (Picture car coord)
  Alfonso Joel Lopez (Const coord)
  Abraham Martinez (Const foreman)
  Pablo Martinez Garcia (Warehouse keeper)
  Jaime Sanchez (Head of Grupo Progreso)
  Augustin Martinez Mendez (Head of painters)
  Javier Morales (2d head of group)
  Juan Manuel Barreto (Greensman)
  Jose A. Villafanez (Greens asst)
  Rafael Rodriguez (Head of Grupo America)
  Gabriel Chavez (Head painter)
  Raul Martin (2d head of group)
  Julio Trigueros (Head of section)
  Eduardo De La Rosa (Head of painters section)
Costumes: Julie Weiss (Cost des)
  Monica Neumaier (Asst cost des)
  Barbara Marko (Los Angeles cost)
  Adolfo Ramirez (Ward supv)
  Sandra Ramos (Ward coord)
  Jose Luis Montero (Cost)
  María de Jesús Luna (Cost)
  Javier Delgado (Cost)
  Leticia Pichardo (Cost)
  Griselda Garcia (Cutter/fitter)
  Ines Zarco (Seamstress)
  Pedro Raul Flores (Tailor)
  David Jardon (Tailor)
  Fausto Jardon (Tailor)
  Daniel Wolfson (Los Angeles cost prod asst)
  Brandy Renfro (Los Angeles cost prod asst)
Music: Elliot Goldenthal (Mus comp)
  Curtis Roush (Mus ed)
  Teese Gohl for Gohl/McLaughlin (Mus prod)
  Jacobo Lieberman (Mus prod Mexico)
  Leonardo Heiblum (Mus prod Mexico)
  Richard Martinez (Electronic mus prod)
  Joel Iwataki (Rec and mixed)
  Lawrence Manchester (Addl rec and mixing)
  Elliot Goldenthal (Orch)
  Robert Elhai (Orch)
  Stephen Mercurio (Orch cond)
  Manhattan Center Studios, NY (Rec and mixed at)
  Estudios Churubusco, Mexico City (Rec and mixed at)
  Zarathustra Hall, NY (Rec and mixed at)
  Francisco “Pancho” Navarro (Guitar soloist)
  Ernesto Anaya (Guitars)
  Oscar Ramos (Guitars on “La Llorona”)
  Miguel Guarneros (Guitars on “La Llorona”)
  Valeria Palomino (Addl rec Mexico)
  Lena Esquinazi (Addl rec Mexico)
  Winfried Kraus (Addl mus preparation)
  Emile Charlap (Contracting and mus preparation)
  Randy Spendlove (Exec in charge of mus)
  Sarah Botstein (Mus supv)
  Jacobo Lierberman (Mus supv)
  Kathy Nelson (Mus supv)
Sound: Santiago Nuñez (Prod sd mixer)
  Leon Sandoval (Boom operator)
  Alejandro Mejia (Cable puller)
  Victor Camacho (Video playback)
  Christian Camacho (Video playback asst)
  Blake Leyh (Supv sd ed/sd des)
  Deborah Wallach (ADR ed)
  Laura Civiello (Dial ed)
  Kimberly McCord (Dial ed)
  Glenfield Payne (Sd FX ed)
  Jennifer Ralston (Foley supv)
  Jamie Baker (Foley ed)
  Benjamin Cheah (Foley ed)
  Jay Peck (Foley artist)
  Marko A. Costanzo (Foley artist)
  George Lara (Foley recordist)
  Arnold Finkelstein (Foley recordist)
  Alex Soto (Asst sd ed)
  Kenna Doeringer (Asst sd ed)
  Debora Lilavois (Asst sd ed)
  Tyron Milner (Asst sd ed)
  Robert Fernandez (Re-rec sd mixer)
  Paul Zydel (ADR mixer)
  Thomas Kodros (Dolby sd consultant)
  Sound One, Inc. (Mixed at)
  C5, Inc. (Post prod sd)
Special Effects: Amoeba Proteus (Spec visual eff)
  Jeremy Dawson (Visual eff supv)
  Dan Schrecker (Visual eff supv)
  Henrik Fett (VFX supv, Look! Effects, Inc.)
  Mark Driscoll (VFX prod, Look! Effects, Inc.)
  Dany Crusius (VFX coord, Look! Effects, Inc.)
  Eric Beaver (2d supv, Look! Effects, Inc.)
  Charles D'Arby (VFX supv, Digital Firepower)
  Walter Hart (Digital EFX prod, Film East Effects)
  Joel Hynek (VFX consultant and supv, Kleiser-Walczak)
  C. Marie Davis (Exec visual eff prod, CIS Hollywood)
  Dr. Ken Jones (Visual eff supv, CIS Hollywood)
  The Quay Brothers (Hospital puppet seq)
  Ray Lewis (Digital artist, Ameoba Proteus)
  Eric Person (Digital artist, Ameoba Proteus)
  Serge Patzak (Assoc VFX prod, Ameoba Proteus)
  Erica Osher (VFX asst, Ameoba Proteus)
  Jon Mall (Office mgr, Ameoba Proteus)
  Betty Carney (Painter, Ameoba Proteus)
  Colin Crowley (Intern, Ameoba Proteus)
  Peter Borjeson (Intern, Ameoba Proteus)
  Crystal Moselle (Intern, Ameoba Proteus)
  Adam Avitabile (Compositor, Look! Effects, Inc.)
  Jamie Baxter (Lead artist, Digital Firepower)
  Jim Rider (Inferno compositor, Film East Effects)
  Joaquin De La Puente (Digital film scanning, Film East Effects)
  Jeremy Ross (Exec prod, Kleiser-Walczak)
  Fish Essenfeld (Compositing 2d supv, Kleiser-Walczak)
  Bruno Vilela (3D animator, Kleiser-Walczak)
  Roberto Rochin (Coord, Motion Control)
  Luis Rochin (Op, Motion Control)
  Bernardo Jasso (Op, Motion Control)
  Alejandro Serrano (Asst, Motion Control)
  Rodolfo Ramirez (Asst, Motion Control)
  Enrique Ramirez (Asst, Motion Control)
  Suzanne Mitus-Uribe (Sr digital compositor, CIS Hollywood)
  Larry Gaynor (Digital paint artist, CIS Hollywood)
  Kit Young (Digital systems mgr, CIS Hollywood)
  Joe Matza (Exec in charge of prod, EFILM)
  Bob Eicholz (Exec in charge of prod, EFILM)
  Bill Feightner (Tech dir, EFILM)
  Carrie Holecek (Digital mastering prod, EFILM)
  Allen Cappuccilli (Editorial, EFILM)
  Chris Edwards (Mgr of operations, EFILM)
  Patrick Clancey (Digital opticals, EFILM)
  Alejandro Vazquez (Spec eff coor)
  Salvador Servin (Spec eff asst)
  Lazao Cervantes (Spec eff asst)
  Jose Luis Capilla (Spec eff asst)
  Galdino Roberto (Spec eff asst)
  Barnabe Rosales (Spec eff asst)
  Victor Manuel Moran (Spec eff asst)
  Carlos Ochoa (Spec eff asst)
  EFILM (Digital intermediate)
  EFILM (Digital opticals)
  Film East Effects (Visual eff scanning)
Dance: Maria Aida Moya (Foxtrot choreographer)
  Derek Ransom (Dance coach for Ms. Judd)
  Maestro (Tango choreography)
  Salma Hayek (Tango choreography)
  Julie Taymor (Tango choreography)
  Ashley Judd (Tango choreography)
Make Up: Matthew Mungle (Prosthetics des)
  John Jackson (Prosthetic makeup artist)
  Judy Chin (Key makeup artist)
  Maryann Marchetti (Asst makeup artist)
  Raul Sarmiento (Makeup artist)
  Regina Reyes (3D body painting)
  Beatrice D'Alba (Key hair stylist)
  Myrna Cristerna (Asst hair stylist)
  Silvia Fernandez (Hair stylist)
  Erwin Kupitz (Wig des)
Production Misc: Rafael Cuervo (Unit prod mgr)
  Anna Roth (Prod consultant)
  Alejandro Springall (Prod consultant)
  Springall Pictures (Tech asst prod services co)
  Claudia Becker (Mexico casting)
  Jorge Guerrero (Extras casting dir)
  Sonia Guerrero (Extras casting coord)
  Speakeasy (Voice casting)
  Becky Glupczynski (Prod coord)
  Stacy Perskie (Prod coord)
  Claudia Montero (Prod coord)
  Jeff Robinson (Post prod supv)
  Janna Delury (Scr supv)
  Martha Zamora (Research consultant)
  Victoria Gohl (Visual research consultant)
  Jeanmarie Murphy-Burke (Unit pub)
  Michele Boudreau (Prod accountant)
  Steve Beeson (Accounting supv)
  Lucy Amador (1st asst accountant)
  Rosa Isela Villegas (2d asst accountant)
  Brenda Morris (Asst accountant)
  Saul Zuñiga (Asst accountant)
  Lizbeth Villegas (Accounting clerk)
  Lourdes Perez (Fiscal accountant)
  Ivonne Alva (Fiscal accountant)
  Juan Antonio Sanchez (Asst fiscal accountant)
  Castillo Miranda Y Cia, S.C. (Accounting-fiscal)
  R. C. Baral (Accounting-post prod)
  Jen Cox (Post prod accountant)
  Erica Hyatt (Post prod asst)
  Pedros Kos (Post prod asst)
  Jesse Rose Moore (Post prod intern)
  Eric Hendricks (Post prod intern)
  Matthew Goldenberg (Post prod intern)
  Juan Carlos Garrido (Unit prod chief)
  Oscar Reboreda (Union prod rep)
  Maria Del Carmen Jimenez (Anda delegate)
  Christopher Young (Painting coach)
  Bettina Garro (Painting coach)
  Eduardo Pizarro (Painting coach)
  Fernando Uriegas "Boogie" (Loc mgr)
  Juan Pablo Noval (Key loc asst)
  Javier Del Rio (Loc asst)
  Luis Carranco (Loc asst)
  Dr. Ernesto Trejo (Unit doctor)
  Dr. Roberto Reyna (Const doctor)
  Armando Victoria (Security)
  Mario Olivares (Security)
  Balthazar Romero (Security)
  Jules Cazedessus (Coord for Ms. Taymor and Mr. Goldenthal)
  Leonardo Heiblum (Asst to Ms. Taymor)
  Ivan Bess (Asst to Ms. Green)
  Alexandra Cardenas (Asst to Ms. Green)
  Lauda Flores (Asst to Ms. Hayek)
  Lindsay Knaub (Asst to Ms. Slotnick)
  Karen Harrison (Asst to Ms. Messick)
  Mauricio Lule (Key set prod asst)
  Yuria Goded Garzon (Office prod asst)
  Carolina Cortes (Prod asst)
  Carmen De Los Rosa (Prod asst)
  Kira Dominguez (Prod asst)
  Rene Miron (Prod asst)
  Valeria Villalobos (Prod asst)
  Guinduri Arroyo (Prod runner)
  Mireya Guerrero (Prod runner)
  Jan Roth (Prod intern)
  Brandy Barber (Prod intern)
  Jo Claudio (Dialect coach)
  Joy Ellison (Dialect coach)
  Maria Milea (Dialect coach)
  Carla Meyer (Dialect coach)
  Lilene Mansell (Dialect coach)
  Jess Platt (Dialect coach to Mr. Rush)
  Armando Guerrero (Asst extras coord)
  Dante Aguilar (Transportation coord)
  Alejandro Arroyo "Ronco" (Transportation capt)
  Pablo Berti (2d transportation asst)
  Alfredo Nonato (Driver)
  Jose P. Soriano (Driver)
  Hector Cruz (Driver)
  Leonardo Davila (Driver)
  Ernesto Diaz Mata (Driver)
  Armando Paez (Driver)
  Jose Luis Curiel (Driver)
  Ernesto Aguirre (Driver)
  Eder Alejandro Arroyo Jr. (Driver)
  Vincente Cadena (Driver)
  Gerardo Castell (Driver)
  Jose Luis Conde (Driver)
  Luis Rivera (Driver)
  David Reyes (Driver)
  Jose Cruz Garduño (Driver)
  Roberto Flores (Driver)
  Gerardo Hernández (Driver)
  Fernando Pereyra (Driver)
  Antonio Garcia (Driver)
  Hilario Lopez (Driver)
  Claudio Vicente Reyes (Driver)
  Mario Granados (Driver)
  Pedro Jimenez (Driver)
  Juan E. Galicia (Driver)
  Carlos Martinez (Driver)
  Ruben Alcantara (Driver)
  Juan Mucino (Driver)
  Rene Martinez (Driver)
  Tomas Tapia (Driver)
  Pedro Antonio Castillo (Driver)
  Fernando Valverde (Driver)
  Sergio Terrones (Driver)
  Eric Amador (Driver)
  Manuel Montes De Oca (Driver)
  Nemesio Rodriguez (Driver)
  Jose Castillo (Driver)
  Rafael Contreras (Driver)
  Mariano Mucino (Driver)
  Braulio Piedra (Driver)
  Luis Diaz Gonzalez (Driver)
  Armando Quiroz (Driver)
  Javier Peralta (Driver)
  Ana Ballesteros (Catering/Craft service)
  Mayte Romero (Chef)
  Victor Martinez (Craft service)
  Miguel Pineda (Prod buyer)
  Israel Pineda (Prod buyer asst)
  Milton Pineda (Prod buyer asst)
  Rocio Ortega (Animal handler)
  Claudia Porter (Asst animal handler)
  Carlos Renero (Monkey handler)
  HSBC Bank, USA (Banking services)
  Natwest Bank PLC (Banking services)
  Bancomer S.A. (Banking services)
  AON Entertainment Risk (Insurance)
  Goodmans LLP (Legal services provided by)
  David Zitzerman (Legal services provided by)
  Ivan Scheeberg (Legal services provided by)
  Arthur Reinstein (Legal services provided by)
  David Fortier (Legal services provided by)
  Juaregui, Navarrete, Nader Y Rojas (Legal services Mexico)
  Gabriel Navarrete Alcaraz (Legal services Mexico)
  Miguel Juargui Rojas (Legal services Mexico)
  Santistevan Abogados (Mexican prod counsel)
  Entertainment Partners, Inc. (Payroll service)
Stand In: Seraley Morales (Stand-in for Ms. Hayek)
  Victor Moran (Stand-in for Mr. Molina)
  Keyla Garcia (Stand-in)
  Rafael Reyes (Stand-in)
  Alberto Castellanos (Stand-in)
  Gerardo Moreno (Stunt coord)
  Sammy Ortiz Olivares (Stunt performer)
  Isidro Mora (Stunt performer)
  Raul Lopez Arteaga (Stunt performer)
  Karla Moreno (Stunt performer)
  Arturo Gomez Zamudio (Stunt performer)
  Maria Del Rosario Flores (Stunt performer)
  Raul Gaher (Stunt performer)
  Xochitl Del Rosario (Stunt performer)
  Juan Emiliano Moreno (Stunt performer)
  Hector Perseo Tavares (Stunt performer)
  Tomas Guzman (Stunt performer)
  Teresa Arteaga (Stunt performer)
Color Personnel: Steve Bowen (Digital col timer, EFILM)
  Ben Estrada (Digital col asst, EFILM)
  Chris Taft (Digital col asst, EFILM)
Country: United States
Language: English

Music:
Songs: “Cabecita Loca,” written by Lauro Aguilar Palma, performed by Guty Cárdenas, published by PHAM, courtesy of ICREM; “Soledad,” written by Carlos Gardel and Alfredo Lepera, performed by Carlos Gardel, published by Warner Chappell Music (WCM) Argentina, by arrangement with WCM México, courtesy of BMG México; “Dios Nunca Muere,” written by Héctor Córdoba, performed by Organillero, published by PHAM; “Clarinet Marmalade,” performed by Fletcher Henderson, written by Larry Schields & H. W. Ragas, published by EMI Feist Catalogue Inc., courtesy of The Verve Music Group, under license from Universal Music Enterprises; “Lagrimas,” written by Luis Martínez Serrano, performed by Guty Cárdenas & Adolfo Hayes, published by PHAM, courtesy of Columbia Records, under license from Sony Music Entertainment; “Alcoba Azul (Tango),” music by Elliot Goldenthal, lyrics by Hernán Bravo Varela, performed by Lila Downs, published by Mrx Music; “Carabina 30/30,” corrido tradicional, preformed by Poder del Norte, Poder del Norte appears courtesy of D DISA LATIN MUSIC; “El Gusto,” son huasteco tradicional, performed by Trio Huasteco Caimanes de Tamuin; “Ven Chamaquito,” written by J. M. Lacalle, performed by Guty Cárdenas & Cuarteto Cárdenas, courtesy of ICREM; “La Borrachita,” written by Tata Nacho, performed by Lila Downs, published by PHAM, Lila Downs appears courtesy of Narada Records; “La Bruja” and El Cascabel,” son jarocho tradicional, performed by Salma Hayek & Los Vega; “Jumping at the Woodside,” written by William Count Basie, performed by Count Basie and His Orchestra, published by Warner Music Corp (ASCAP), courtesy of The Verve Music Group, under license from Universal Music Enterprises; “Battle to the Death,” written by Harry Bluestone and Emil Cadkin, publishing Carbet Special Accounts, Affiliation BMI; “El Antifaz,” written by Luis Arcaraz Torras, performed by Liberación, Miguel Galindo, Alejandro Matehuala and Gerardo García, published by SACM, Liberación appears courtesy of D DISA LATIN MUSIC; “La Rielera,” performed by Cilindros, tradicional; “Paloma Negra,” written by Tomás Mendez, performed by Chavela Vargas, published by PHAM, recording by Orfeón Videovox; “Barrio de San Francisco,” written by Trio Los Chapás, performed by Trio Los Chapás, published by Discos Corasón, courtesy of Discos Corasón; “El Conejo,” written by Los Cojolites, performed by Los Cojolites, published by Argos Música, recording by Argos Música; “C’est lui,” performed by Josephine Baker, written by Roger Bernstein, composed by Georges van Parys, published worldwide by Editions Salabert © 1934, courtesy of Arkadia Chansons, by arrangement with Position Soundtrack Services; “La Llorona,” written by Luis Mars, performed by Chavela Vargas & Lila Downs, published by PHAM; “Viva La Vida,” music by Elliot Goldenthal, lyrics by Hernán Bravo Varela, performed by Trio/Marimberos, published by Mrx Music; “Burn It Blue,” music by Elliot Goldenthal, lyrics by Julie Taymor, performed by Caetano Veloso & Lila Downs, published by Zarathustra Music.
Composer: Trio Los Chapás
  Los Cojolites
  Lauro Aguilar Palma
  Luis Arcaraz Torras
  William Count Basie
  Roger Bernstein
  Harry Bluestone
  Hernán Bravo Varela
  Emil Cadkin
  Héctor Córdoba
  Carlos Gardel
  Elliot Goldenthal
  J. M. Lacalle
  Alfredo Lepera
  Luis Mars
  Luis Martínez Serrano
  Tomás Mendez
  Tata Nacho
  H. W. Ragas
  Larry Schields
  Julie Taymor
Source Text: Based on the book Frida, a Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera (New York, 1983).
Authors: Hayden Herrera

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Miramax Film Corp. 0/0/2002 dd/mm/yyyy  

PCA NO: 39203
Physical Properties: Sd: Dolby Digital; dts Digital Sound; SDDS Sony Dynamic Digital Sound in selected theatres
  col: Kodak Motion Picture Film
  Lenses/Prints: Camera and lenses by Rocky Mountain Motion Pictures
  gauge: 35mm

 
Genre: Biography
  Drama
Sub-Genre: with songs
 
 
Subjects (Major): Frida Kahlo
  Love
  Mexico City (Mexico)
  Pain
  Painters
  Diego Rivera
 
Subjects (Minor): Assassination
  Automobile accidents
  Bisexuality
  Broken limbs
  Communists
  Fathers and daughters
  Imprisonment
  Infidelity
  Marriage
  Miscarriage
  New York City
  Portraits (Paintings)
  Sisters
  Leon Trotsky
  Womanizers
  Wounds and injuries

Note: The film opens with a scene of Frida Kahlo being carried in her bed out of her house and onto the bed of a truck. She is accompanied by her sister Cristina, in a foretelling of the trip shown at the close of the film that the artist makes to her solo exhibition in 1953. Salma Hayek, as “Frida,” provides voice-over narration at various points in the film. During the beginning of the New York sequence in the film, Alfred Molina’s voice narrates the highlights of their stay. Some passages of Frida’s dialogue in the film and quoted in the above summary were taken from Kahlo’s own diaries and interviews. In the opening credits nine principal actors are listed beginning with Salma Hayek and Alfred Molina; however, in the film’s closing credits the cast is listed in order of appearance.
       The picture lists the following companies and individuals as providing the Photography (Montage) stills: Archive Films by Getty Images; Hulton/Archives by Getty Images; Museum of the City of New York; George Eastman House; Engineering Site; Library of Congress, Prints & Photography Division; Serge Patzak and Jeremy Dawson. The credits state that reproduction of artwork by both artists was authorized by the National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature and that original rights to each artists’ artwork belong to The Banco De Mexico Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Museums Trust. In addition, the credits note that the Vogue magazine with Kahlo on the front cover is used by permission of the Condé Nast Publications, Inc. Many individuals and companies are listed in the “A Very Special Thanks” section in the closing credits of the film, including: Miramax executives Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the Instituto Nacional De Bellas Artes and actor-writer Edward Norton, who is credited in several magazine articles as contributing to the screenplay, but only listed onscreen in this section.
       As portrayed in the film, Frida Kahlo (1907--1954) grew up in Mexico City in her family home, Casa Azul. At age eighteen she was involved in a bus accident that left her with chronic health problems and caused her to endure over thirty operations in her lifetime. After her initial recovery, Kahlo began to paint. She met Mexican artist Diego Rivera (1886--1957) in 1928, married him the next year, divorced him in 1939 and remarried him in 1940. While Rivera enjoyed an international art career through commissioned murals, Kahlo continued to create intensively autobiographical paintings and became world renowned several decades after her death. As depicted in the film, Diego’s mural for the Rockefeller Center lobby was destroyed in 1934 when Rivera refused to remove its portrait of Lenin.
       The couple’s studios were made into the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Studio-House Museum, where many of their works are on display. During their marriage the couple socialized with many world-renowned personalities, including Communist Leon Trotsky, who immigrated to Mexico in 1937 and, as depicted in the film, was assassinated in 1940; surrealist André Breton; photographer Tina Modotti; singer Josephine Baker, although the character is called "Paris chanteuse" in credits, and others. One year before Kahlo’s death, Rivera lauded his wife’s work in an interview, stating, "Kahlo is the greatest Mexican painter. Her work is destined to be multiplied by reproductions and will speak . . . to the whole world.”
       Frida is based on the 1983 novel Frida, a Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera. According to an Aug 2002 HR article, in 1988 film producer Nancy Hardin purchased the rights to the book. When HBO agreed to make the film for cable television in 1994, Mexican director Roberto Sneider, producer Sarah Green and, according to a 23 Aug 2002 Screen International article, producer Lizz Speed, joined the team. The Aug 2002 HR article states that Rodrigo Garcia, son of Nobel prize-winning novelist Gabriel García Márquez, worked on the script.
       By the early 1990s, several other companies were interested in producing television and feature-film versions of Kahlo’s story. Musician and actress Madonna approached HBO about joining her project with Hardin’s and, according to a 17 Jun 2001 The Times (London) article, had lined up Marlon Brando to star as Rivera. The Aug 2002 HR article states that producer Jan Rosenthal and actor Robert De Niro considered making a version. According to a 30 Aug 2000 LAT article, Venezuelan director Betty Kaplan also had plans to make a film based on Kahlo, starring Edward James Olmos.
       Another version was slated to begin under the direction of Latin American Luis Valdez entitled Frida and Diego . The production was to be based on Martha Zamora’s Frida Kahlo: The Brush of Anguish and to star Raul Julia and Jennifer Lopez; however, when the film was to begin production in 2001, Julia had died and Lopez left due to other film commitments. According to a 23 Aug 2002 Screen International article, Francis Ford Coppola had agreed to produce the Valdez production.
       According to a 15 Jul 2001 LAT article, in the meantime, the HBO project was purchased by Trimark Pictures in 1996 with Hayek assigned to star. As noted in the Aug 2002 HR article, Hayek had auditioned for the lead in Valdez’s version, but was rejected at the time because the former Mexican soap opera star was not the internationally popular draw required by the director. A 23 Aug 2002 Screen International article states that after Sneider left the Trimark project, Hayek became a producer, as well as the star, for the film under her production company, Ventanarosa.
       Although a 3 Mar 1998 HR production chart states shooting would start in the spring of that year, according to Screen International , Hayek left the project to work with Miramax, and promised Hardin to try to convince Miramax to take on the production. The article also notes that Hayek worked with producer Walter Salles, who left the project due to scheduling conflicts. A 13 Oct 2002 LAT article notes that Spanish director Pedro Almodovar also considered the project in 1997--1998. According to an Aug 2002 HR article, after Trimark subsequently dropped the project in 1998 because of Hayek’s budget, the star, as promised, then took the project to Miramax on the condition that Julie Taymor direct it.
       Taymor, known for her experimental work in both theater and film, chose several techniques to highlight Kahlo’s creative process. Among these techniques were the blending of live-action sequences into versions of Kahlo’s paintings and vice versa. As noted in an Oct 2002 AmCin article, Taymor filmed Hayek in makeup that closely matched the paintings “The Two Fridas, Self Portrait with Cropped Hair” and “The Broken Column” in order to make the illusion seamless. The paintings “My Dress Hangs There,” “The Suicide of Dorothy Hale” and “What the Water Gave Me” were animated to blend the paintings into live-action sequences.
       As also noted in the article, Kahlo and Rivera’s journey through New York is depicted through the use of montage, referencing early 20th century Dadaist collage. Black-and-white film documenting Rivera’s visit to a Detroit factory was used, as well as cityscape cutouts which form the background on which paper dolls of Kahlo and Rivera walk. An actual clip of the film King Kong is used during a sequence in which Frida visits a movie theater. Later, a King Kong sequence is recreated in which Diego is portrayed as Kong climbing up the Empire State Building. In addition, the surreal images of dancing skeletons and broken bones depicted during Frida’s early hospital stay were created by the use of puppet-animation sequencing. Tinting was used to highlight the differences in location including vibrant color for Mexico, sepia tones for Paris and cooler tones for New York.
       In addition to the recreation of the Casa Azul and other sets at the Churubusco Studios in Mexico City, portions of the film were shot on location in Mexico City and the outlying towns of Puebla and San Luis Potosi. According to the Oct 2002 AmCin article, permission was also granted to shoot at a number of locations central to Kahlo and Rivera’s life, including the Mexican Ministry of Education, the site of one of Rivera’s murals; the San Angel studio where the couple lived and worked and the Teotihuacan pyramids, which according to the Aug 2002 HR article, required the special permission of Mexican president Vincente Fox. Although early production charts list shooting in New York and Paris, due to financial constraints, Taymor choose to recreate both metropolitan locations within Mexico City.
       A 7 Nov 2002 Wall Street Journal article notes that composer Elliot Goldenthal blended period music with his own compositions and augmented the orchestra with a small group of Mexican musicians playing traditional instruments including the vihuela, guitarrón, marimba and the Mexican harp. In the film, the over-ninety-year-old Costa Rican singer Chavela Vargas, at one time Frida’s lover, sings “La Ilorona” while portraying death haunting a drunk and depressed Frida.
       Frida opened the Venice Film Festival on 29 Aug 2002. In addition to being selected as one of AFI’s top ten films of the year, the picture earned a Golden Globe for Best Original Score, by Elliot Goldenthal, and received a Golden Globe nomination in the category of Best Actress--Drama, for Hayek. Hayek was also nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress, and the film received Academy Awards for Best Makeup and Best Original Score, in addition to being nominated for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design. Hayek received a SAG nomination for Best Lead Actress in a Movie, and Alfred Molina was nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category. The National Board of Review included the film in its list of the 2002 top ten films. The film received a BAFTA for Achievement in Makeup and Hair.
       Although Kahlo has been the subject of many documentaries, according to modern sources, only one other major feature exists about the painter. The 1984 Frida is a Mexican film by director Paul Leduc starring Ofelia Medina, in which, according to a 30 Aug 2000 LAT article, the painter is portrayed as an innocent victim of Rivera’s tyranny. Diego and Kahlo’s New York stay, Diego’s Rockefeller Center commission and the mural’s subsequent destruction, were also depicted in the 1999 film The Cradle Will Rock , about a WPA Federal Theatre Program play in 1930s New York. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
American Cinematographer   Oct 2002.   
Daily Variety   20 Dec 2000.   
Daily Variety   14 Aug 2002.   
Daily Variety   30 Aug 2002.   
Entertainment Weekly   16 Aug 2002.   
Entertainment Weekly   27 Sep 2002.   
Hollywood Reporter   24 May 1988.   
Hollywood Reporter   3 Mar 1998.   
Hollywood Reporter   13 Feb 1991.   
Hollywood Reporter   17 Apr 2001.   
Hollywood Reporter   17 Jul 2001.   
Hollywood Reporter   24-30 Jul 2001   p. 23.
Hollywood Reporter   30 Aug-1 Sep 2002.   
Los Angeles Times   25 Mar 1997.   
Los Angeles Times   7 May 1999.   
Los Angeles Times   30 Aug 2000.   
Los Angeles Times   19 Oct 2000.   
Los Angeles Times   15 Jul 2001.   
Los Angeles Times   13 Oct 2002.   
Los Angeles Times   25 Oct 2002.   
Los Angeles Times   16 Feb 2003   p. E32-33.
LA Weekly   25 Oct 2002.   
New Republic   18 Nov 2002.   
New York   9 Sep 2002.   
New York Times   8 Sep 2002.   
New York Times   24 Oct 2002.   
New York Times   25 Oct 2002.   
Screen International   5 Apr 2002.   
Screen International   23 Aug 2002.   
Time   23 Apr 2001.   
The Times (London)   17 Jun 2001.   
The Times (London)   30 Aug 2002.   
Variety   9 Sep 2002.   
Vogue   Dec 2001.   
Wall Street Journal   7 Nov 2002.   

Display Movie Summary
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
Limited To:
Video Availability
Advanced Search
Join AFI
Login
Support our efforts to preserve hisotory of film
Help AFI Preserve Film History

© 2017 American Film Institute.
All rights reserved.
Terms of use.