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Antonieta (1982)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, War | 21 October 1982 (Spain)
A French psychologist investigates about famous suicidal women. She finds the case of Antonieta Rivas Mercado, a Mexican writer who died inside Paris' Notre Dame in 1931. To follow the ... See full summary »


Carlos Saura


Jean-Claude Carrière (screenplay), Jean-Claude Carrière (story) | 3 more credits »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Isabelle Adjani ... Antonieta Rivas Mercado
Hanna Schygulla ... Anna
Ignacio López Tarso ... Vargas
Carlos Bracho ... José Vasconcelos
Gonzalo Vega ... Manuel Rodriguez Lozano
Bruno Rey ... Alvaro Obregon
Fernando Balzaretti Fernando Balzaretti ... Secretario Vasconcelos
Víctor Junco ... Porfirio Diaz
Víctor Alcocer ... Orado
Narciso Busquets ... Arq, Rivas Mercado
José Lavat ... Esposo, Antonieta's Husband
Héctor Alterio ... Leon
María Montaño María Montaño ... Carmen Mondragon
Fernando Palavicini Fernando Palavicini ... Amigo Vasconcelos
Enrique Beraza Enrique Beraza ... Assistente Vasconcelos


A French psychologist investigates about famous suicidal women. She finds the case of Antonieta Rivas Mercado, a Mexican writer who died inside Paris' Notre Dame in 1931. To follow the investigation she travels to Mexico to reveal her life. Written by Michel Rudoy <mdrc@hp9000a1.uam.mx>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Biography | Drama | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »



France | Mexico | Spain


Spanish | French

Release Date:

21 October 1982 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Antonieta, to ainigma mias gynaikas See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


First film of Diego Luna. See more »


El limoncito
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User Reviews

Thought-provoking portrayal of Antonieta Rivas Mercado during the violent and overlong Mexican revolution
7 June 2019 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Biographic story of her life was set to shoot in this film , Antonieta , by Spanish director Carlos Saura . The interesting story of Antonieta Rivas Mercado (Isabelle Adjani ) is set during one of the bloodiest eras of Mexican history , being narrated under a peculiar sight point , as a psychologist called Anna (Hanna Schygulla ) investigates deeply her history and comes to Mexico to learn more about her and the Mexican fascination with death.

Antonia Rivas Mercado's biography is told by a modern French psychologist who is really intrigued about her troblesome life . The film packs some very engaging archival footage of the Mexican Revolution , and essential participation by the revolutionary women named ¨Adelitas¨ . Including important details , such as : the North uprising against Porfirio Diaz led by Orozco and by Emiliano Zapata in South Mexico . Later on , Madero's government , being murdered by General Huertas , and Carranza's upheaval against Huertas with Pancho Villa in North Mexico and Emiliano Zapata in South Mexico . And in 1928 President Obregón was assassinated in Guanajuato . Main cast formed by two great European actresses : Isabelle Adjani and Hanna Schygulla give decent performances . Supported by a good and mostly Mexican secondary cast , such as : Carlos Bracho as Vasconcelos , Gonzalo Vega , Victor Junco , Diana Bracho , Héctor Alterio , uncredited Diego Luna and Ignacio López Tarso . Evocative musical score by José Antonio Zavala , includind South American sounds and the popular ¨Corridas¨ , along with songs titled La llorona , Himno a Cristo Rey , La cucaracha , La Adelita , El limoncito and La Valentina . Atmospheric cinematography by Teo Escamilla , Saura's regular . The motion picture was profesional , though slowly directed by Carlos Saura .

Adding more remarks about Antonieta life : Antonieta's father designed the Independence Monument, always known as El Ángel, and she is generally believed to have modeled for the angel which fell during the earthquake of 1957. She inherited a fortune when her father died in 1925. She was briefly married and had a son who later married an American woman who published a biography of Antonieta, Under the Shadow of the Angel. Rivas Mercado was born as the second of four children of the notable architect Antonio Rivas Mercado .Around 1910, during the Mexican revolution, her parents separated, and her mother moved together with Antonieta's older sister Alice to Paris, where they stayed until their return to Mexico in 1915 .Antonio Rivas Mercado refused to let his wife move back into the family's house, as a result of which Antonieta had to assume more responsibility at home. With her father's permission, at the age of 18, she married British-born, American-raised engineer Albert Edward Blair, and gave birth to their son Donald Antonio (Tonito) . During the time the young family lived in a ranch in the state of Durango, there were periods when Antonieta Rivas sought separation from Blair, but he did not consent, as a result of which she was sometimes depressed .She eventually moved to Mexico City and tried to file for divorce, and to obtain support for her son. In 1927, her father died, and Antonieta became responsible for the care of her parents' house and her siblings. She financed and promoted cultural projects of considerable relevance ; for example, she financed and became principally involved in the foundation of the Teatro Ulises, that broke with commercial theater in the Mexico of the time. Thanks to her encouragement, literary lounges were formed, and the Orquesta Sinfónica of Mexico City was formed. It was said that knowing Antonieta Rivas Mercado helped open the cultural doors in Mexico .Rivas Mercado wrote for the magazine Los Contemporáneos and the Spanish periodical El Sol. She fell hopelessly in love with her friend, the painter Manuel Rodríguez Lozano, an affection that was not reciprocated.In 1929, she had an affair with the politician José Vasconcelos, and later supported his electoral campaign. However, this love affair also proved to be fruitless, since Vasconcelos was married. In 1931, Antonieta followed Vasconcelos to Paris and, when rejected, shot herself at the altar of Notre Dame de Paris . In 1928 President Obregón was assassinated in Guanajuato. A popular former education minister, José Vasconcellos, launched a campaign for the presidency. Antonieta used her money to support the campaign and became his lover. Vasconcellos lost the election and went into Parisian exile and in1931 Antonieta followed him. She asked Vasconcelos if he needed her and, when he said he did not, used his gun to commit suicide in the Cathedral of Notre Dame.

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