Eisenstein in Guanajuato

Eisenstein in Guanajuato

Peter Greenaway (2014)

18 Certificate


Our Score
Director Peter Greenaway - a lifelong admirer of Sergei Eisenstein - mischievously opts to depict the revolutionary Russian film-maker at the most vulnerable point in his meteoric career, in this challenging treatise on art, faith, sexual identity and mortality. In Mexico in 1931 after a frustrating spell in Hollywood, Eisenstein (played by Finnish actor Elmer Bäck) is struggling to make Que Viva Mexico!, a film about the local cult of the dead. However, the 33-year-old gets a new burst of creative energy after he loses his virginity to academic-cum-guide Palomino Cañedo. Bäck excels as the troubled genius facing creative block and a crisis of confidence over whether his trademark montage style can survive the coming of the talkies, and bounds around the evocative sets with such vigour that cinematographer Reinier van Brummelen has to put his gliding camera into overdrive to keep up. As always with Greenaway, the dialogue tends towards the florid and the intellectual. Nevertheless, he remains a master image-maker and an irrepressible subversive.


Russian film-maker Sergei Eisenstein arrives in Mexico in 1931 to shoot a new film, despite his Hollywood career having come to an end and increasing -pressure to return to the Soviet Union. As he explores the city of Guanajuato with a local guide, he wrestles with issues of sex and death, that he is happy to explore in art but reluctant to face in reality. Peter Greenaway's fact-based drama, starring Elmer Back and Luis Alberti.

Cast & Crew

Sergei Eisenstein Elmer Bäck
Palomino Cañedo Luis Alberti
Diego Rivera José Montini
Frida Kahlo Cristina Velasco Lozano
Concepción Cañedo Maya Zapata
Mary Craig Sinclair Lisa Owen
Hunter Kimbrough Stelio Savante
Director Peter Greenaway
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Axiom FilmsGuidance: Sex scenes, nudityAvailable on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 15 Apr 2016