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First Lady of the Revolution: A Story of Love, Politics, and Transformation in Costa Rica

"First Lady of the Revolution" explores the life of Henrietta Boggs, a woman who played a significant role in Costa Rican politics and history.

Keywords: Henrietta Boggs, José ‘Don Pepe’ Figueres, Costa Rican history, political reform, women in politics, democracy, societal change


"First Lady of the Revolution," directed by Andrea Kalin and released in 2016, is an intriguing documentary that tells the extraordinary story of Henrietta Boggs. A young woman from Alabama, Boggs fell in love with a foreign land and José ‘Don Pepe’ Figueres, the man destined to transform its identity. In an era where women's roles are being reevaluated and their impacts recognized, this documentary is a timely exploration of a woman's role in political transformation.


The film follows Henrietta Boggs as she leaves her home in Alabama to marry and support José ‘Don Pepe’ Figueres in his quest to modernize Costa Rica. Through her eyes, viewers witness significant historical events, including a civil war and the abolition of the Costa Rican army.

More film analysis


"First Lady of the Revolution" is an intimate, participatory documentary that delves deep into the personal life and political journey of Henrietta Boggs. The film is well-researched, presenting a vivid and in-depth exploration of Costa Rica's transformation under Figueres' leadership.

Historical and Factual Context:

The documentary is set in the mid-20th century, during a tumultuous time in Costa Rican history. Figueres' presidency marked significant political and social reforms, making Costa Rica one of the most stable democracies in Central America.

Key themes in the film:

  • Empowerment of women in politics
  • The importance of political reform
  • The power of love and dedication in achieving change
  • The significance of individual actions in shaping history

Film Comparisons:

Unlike other political documentaries on iWonder, "First Lady of the Revolution" blends personal narrative and historical events, providing a unique perspective on a country's transformation through the eyes of a remarkable woman.

Noteworthy Moments:

A significant moment in the documentary is when Henrietta takes a stand and actively participates in the revolution, highlighting her transformative journey from a passive observer to an active participant in Costa Rican politics.


With an IMDB score of 8.7, the film received positive reviews for its compelling storytelling and insightful depiction of a lesser-known historical figure.


"First Lady of the Revolution" is a must-watch for those interested in politics, history, and women's role in societal change. The documentary offers a unique perspective on political transformation and the power of individual actions in shaping a country's destiny.

Watch First Lady Of The Revolution - Streaming Online | iwonder (Free Trial)
The remarkable story of Henrietta Boggs, who fell in love with a foreign land and José ‘Don Pepe’ Figueres, the man destined to transform its identity.

More film information

IMDB: 8.7
Awards: 6 wins: Sidewalk Film Festival, Accolade Competition, Oxford Film Festival Mississippi

Henrietta Boggs - A woman from Alabama who became a key figure in Costa Rican politics
José ‘Don Pepe’ Figueres - The president of Costa Rica who led significant political and social reforms

Costa Rica
Alabama, USA

Links for further exploration

Key Questions Raised by the Film:

How do individual actions influence political and societal change?

What role do women play in political transformations? 

I wonder what the film would be in another art form:

"I Am Malala" - if it was a famous book, as both stories highlight the role of courageous women in driving societal change.

"Wind Beneath My Wings" - if it was a famous song, as it captures the supportive role Henrietta played in Figueres' political journey.

"Liberty Leading the People" - as it depicts the power of individuals in leading revolutions.

Michelle Obama - if it was a famous celebrity, as both women used their influence to drive societal change.

Red - if it was a colour, as it symbolizes revolution and change.

Classical - if it was a music style, as it is complex and transformative, much like the film's narrative.