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Painter Frida Kahlo’s personal notes used in new documentary about her

16:27, March 15

Painter Frida Kahlo's personal notes are used in order to tell the story of her life in the new documentary, Frida. Director Carla Gutierrez combines first-person narration with archival footage and interpretive animation of Kahlo's work.

Gutierrez was born in Peru and moved to the United States when she was a teenager, and remembers the first time she was truly introduced to Kahlo's paintings in college.

“I was an immigrant, and there was one particular painting that really introduced me to her as an artist between the United States and Mexico border,” Gutierrez said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I saw that my experience of that time was really reflected in the film. Then she just became a part of my life.”

According to Gutierrez, Kahlo did not give many interviews, but wrote very intimate and personal letters. Gutierrez was surprised by her sense of humor, sarcasm and irony, and "how frank she was in expressing her opinions."

The film crew had to search several different museums to find those letters that could paint a complete picture.

One of the biggest creative decisions was to revitalize Kahlo's art, which caused some controversy after the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. But it was part of the film's vision from the earliest stages. The hope, Gutierrez said, was to transport audiences from the real world to her inner world.

“I always thought about her heart and veins that just flow from her hands onto the canvas,” she said. “We wanted to be respectful of the paintings, but bring in a lyrical animation to feel like we were diving into her true feelings and heart.”


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