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Imagining Mexican audiences in Break of Dawn

by Curtis Marez

Isaac Artenstein’s Break of Dawn (1988), which originally appeared on PBS, tells the story of Pedro J. Gonzalez, an activist broadcaster in 1930s Los Angeles who used radio to organize Mexican agricultural and other low-wage workers. Gonzalez had been Villa’s telegraph operator during the Revolution but by the late 1920s he had moved to Los Angeles where he became a popular live musical performer and radio host who organized benefits and support for Mexican workers threatened with deportation. Gonzalez used the relatively new media of radio to cut across the segregated social space of Los Angeles and reach the Mexican working class. Here Break of Dawn attempts to imagine and hence produce the emergence of a working class Mexican audience and, by extension, a public sphere made up of working class institutions, including unions. 

Imagining Mexican audiences in Break of Dawn

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Using "new media" to imagine and produce working class Mexican audiences.

from Break of Dawn (1988)
Creator: Isaac Artenstein
Distributor: Vanguard Cinema
Posted by Curtis Marez