Frida Kahlo – Exhibition on Screen

Palace Electric Canberra 24 and 25 October 2020
Director Ali Ray, producer Phil Grabsky
90 minutes, rated CTC

The folk at Exhibition on Screen really do produce great films – engaging, informative, loaded with visuals and with able expert speakers.

This film about Frida Kahlo gives us a detailed view of her work and lets us into galleries, which in the current COVID times are out of reach. It also sensitively and sympathetically but not sycophantically explores her life from childhood to the end.

Filmed extensively at Kahlo’s home, The Blue House in Mexico City, this personal and intimate film offers privileged access to her works, and highlights the source of her feverish creativity, her resilience, and her lust for life, politics, men and women.

Fortunately for us, Frida was a letter writer. Her letters reveal her deepest emotions and unlock the secrets and symbolism contained within her art.

The commercialisation of images of the artist does also get a mention.  If this is necessary for her work to receive the attention it deserves, perhaps we can live with that. Kahlo’s paintings are often considered to be surrealist but this film gives us a view of them as a sort of visual diary of her life – real rather than surreal.

To see these works and an interesting array of black and white photographs of the artist on the big screen will be a treat for followers of Kahlo and all those interested in art history. 

Another highly recommended film by Exhibition on Screen, which invites comment and engagement from its audiences via its very informative website and through social media. You can also buy or download their films.