The Mexican Suitcase
Robert Capa, the Hungarian born photographer who is widely recognised as having invented the genre of photojournalism with his in-the-trenches perspectives of Republican soldiers fighting in the Spanish Civil War of the 1930’s and perhaps most notably for his frontline depictions of WW2 including the frenetically blurred photographs of allied troops landing on the beaches of Normandy, France.
Until 2004 however, a large swathe of his (as well as his colleagues Gerda Taro and David ‘Chim’ Seymour‘s) negatives had been lost to history. Capa’s brother and founder of The International Centre of Photography in New York, Cornell Capa had known of their existence but his searches had been fruitless until three, ornate boxes, carefully labelled, were discovered in a wardrobe by a film maker in Mexico City.
The Mexican Suitcase reconstructs the path that the negatives most likely took on their journey to Mexico. It also examines the years that remained for their three creators before each was killed photographing various conflicts.
Capa’s partner, Gerda Taro, whose archive has often been confused and jumbled into Capa’s own, is portrayed as a courageous and concerned adventurer, and a woman – had her life not been tragically cut short when she was crushed by a Republican tank – who’s legacy may well have rivalled Capa’s. We also learn of the sense of loss that Capa suffered and that he never found love again after her death.
Perhaps most importantly though, the film looks at the lives of the Republican Soldiers and the Spanish civilians cum refugees who were depicted in the newly discovered images from a time that many in Spain – according to the film – would prefer to forget.
For more information about the The Mexican Suitcase including screenings and the film trailer CLICK HERE.