Rosenda. 1948. Mexico. Directed by Julio Bracho. Screenplay by Bracho, Salvador Elizondo, from a novel by José Rubén Romero. With Rita Macedo, Fernando Soler, Rodolfo Acosta. 98 min.
For many Mexican critics, the 1948 Rosenda represents the climax of Bracho’s career, before a decade of disappointing, low-budget melodramas (capped by the extraordinary comeback of The Shadow of the Tyrant). In the provincial Michoacán of the late 1930s, a peasant girl (Rita Macedo) is abandoned by her fiancé, a mule driver (Rodolfo Acosta), but finds protection with the owner of the local store (Fernando Soler), who teaches her to read and write. They are happy enough until the mule driver returns, now the leader of an army of bandits.