This work is part of a rare photo-shoot done in Mexico in 1965 during the filming of Viva Maria. Biographer Willi Frischauer recalls: 'Towards the end of the seventeen weeks allotted to location work, time began to drag and the altitude became more difficult to bear. Brigitte was showing the strain. At the end of the day, the adrenaline ceased to flow and the lines around her mouth cut deep into her skin. She was not only tired but bored with the work and looked forward to the evenings when she often snuggled up with her favourite authors- Hemmingway, Faulkner, Camus and Gide. She still had her moments. Her colleagues - fellow artistes, production staff, camera crew, stage handlers - were wildly enthusiastic about her splendid impersonation of Charlie Chaplin. Emerging from her trailer complete with little moustache, bowler hat, cane and outsize boots, she shuffled and swivelled on her heels and looked endearingly pathetic. Considering Brigitte did not remember seeing a Chaplin film, the act came off remarkably well.' (Frischauer, Willi. Bardot: An intimate Biography, p. 131) Viva Maria starred Brigitte Bardot and Jeanne Moreau. Viva Maria has been acclaimed as the first film to capture a friendship between women as the centre of the plot, influencing later iconic films such as Thelma and Louise.
In Viva Maria the two women (both named Maria) team up, joining a circus in 1907 Central America. During their first performance on stage they invent - by accident - the strip tease and become local stars. When they come across a local rebellion, Maria I falls in love with the leader, Flores. When he is mortally wounded, she promises him to continue the revolution against military, capitalists, and the church.
The reverse of the photograph is stamped with the following information: