Frida Fridays: 21 Years Of Frida On The Silver Screen

Sofia Jones
 | September 22, 2023

Illustration By Nuestro Stories

The hit motion picture Frida – the biographical drama directed by Julie Taymor, which tells the life story of the iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo – turns 21 this year!

Now that the film is “of age,” let’s celebrate with 6 interesting facts about the movie.

  1. A labor of love: Actress Salma Hayek was not only the star of the film but also, perhaps, its biggest driving force. She is said to have worked for years to make the film a reality, secured the rights to Kahlo’s life story, and co-produced the movie.

  1. Award winning: “Frida” received critical acclaim and was nominated for six Academy Awards in 2003. It won two Oscars, one for Best Makeup and the other for Best Original Score. This recognition underscored the film’s artistic and technical achievements.
  2. Authentic: The film is celebrated for its attention to detail in portraying Frida Kahlo’s life and art. The filmmakers recreated many of her iconic paintings and strived for authenticity in representing her distinctive style, down to her colorful clothing, unibrow, and distinctive facial hair.
  3. A real Diego Rivera Easter egg: In the movie, a young Rivera tells a model that he could eat her wrapped in tortilla. According to entertainment web site IMDB, this is a nod to his autobiography, where he said he “dabbled” in cannibalism, enjoying ”women’s brains in vinaigrette.” A New York Times article also wrote about Kahlo’s husband’s story and cannibalism claims.
  4. Behind-the-scenes turmoil: According to IMDB, Salma Hayek said that producer Harvey Weinstein threatened to shut down production unless she agreed to a full frontal nude scene. “ … On the day of shooting, she had what she describes as a nervous breakdown: ‘My body began to shake uncontrollably, my breath was short and I began to cry and cry, unable to stop.’ It wasn’t that she was uncomfortable about acting an intimate scene with another woman: It was that she felt forced into it by Weinstein, perhaps in retaliation for her refusing his many sexual advances during production,” the site reports.

  1. Box office success: Frida was a hit. It was made for an estimated budget $12 million, and earned over $56M worldwide. The 2002 film’s trailer currently has over 2.6M views on YouTube alone.

Frida – which also shed light on the artist as a feminist icon – is currently available on Prime Video or Paramount+, and on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, YouTube, and Vudu. You are able to stream Frida for free on Pluto.

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