Pancho Villa and Other Stories | Chicago Reader

Pancho Villa and Other Stories

Phillip Rodriguez's 1999 video includes interviews with the Mexican insurgent's widow and others in the town of Parral, Chihuahua, who knew him. These men and women, now in their 90s, still have vivid recollections of the 1910 revolution and other pivotal events leading up to Villa's assassination in a stagecoach while traveling to his retirement ranch near Parral. Their accounts and digressions—especially the widow Soledad's—are personal rather than political, right down to the lament for the white tortillas of that era, complementing or contradicting the “official” history of the revolution. Rodriguez's talking-head format would be grating if the stories weren't inherently engrossing, but he effectively juxtaposes the Pancho imagined by the movies with the less mythic Francisco Villa remembered by the interviewees.

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