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MAILBAG : The Frida Furor

August 09, 1992

Regarding last Sunday's Film Clips item on the film "Frida and Diego":

Six years ago you published my letter in protest of co-producer Moctesuma Esparza selling out to Robert Redford in the casting of "The Milagro Beanfield War" to ensure the success of the film.

Today I am shocked and offended to read about Luis Valdez doing the same in casting a non-Latina in his upcoming film. Could it be that the Latin woman is viewed so poorly in our society that she isn't worthy of portraying herself on film?

Latinas feel particularly passionate about this film because Kahlo is our first visible role model, and we would like to take pleasure in that fact. For the first time we would like to look up at the screen with great pride and identify with another Latina's struggles and accomplishments.

Kahlo herself would have protested vehemently; she was the very essence of the Mexican woman. Only a Latina could take that element to the screen.

Your article states that Valdez plans to take the film to Cannes next year. May I remind him that John Singleton took "Boyz N the Hood" to Cannes with an African-American cast.



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