This film is part of Free

Mexico's New Crisis, Youth Prepares

What should we make of Mexico's revolutionary new president? Plus, the importance of a good boy scout.

Anthology 1939 19 mins


True to its name, March of Time here conveys an especially clear idea of how rapidly the world was changing as a threatening new decade loomed. With Mexico's president Lazaro Cardenas nearing the end of his time in office, there's an evaluation of his 'socialist' policies - a onetime headache for Britain and America. Exotic-looking pictures help make those policies sound at best foreign, at worst outright alien.

While earlier editions of his cinemagazine had filled each reel with three or four stories, by 1939 Louis de Rochemont was beginning to scale back the variety in favour of more in-depth features. The threats posed to democratic thinking seem to have been one of his top concerns as a journalist. The companion item to the Cardenas report considers the role of literature in the forming of a youngster's mind, with idyllic scenes of boy scouts' activities prevailing over images of indoctrination from the likes of Hitler and Mussolini.