Mexico City, 1861. Not the sleek metropolis of mariachi and mezcal you know today, but a sun-bleached adobe canvas smeared with gunpowder and possibility. It's January 1st, and in a scene more operatic than an agave-fueled fiesta, the city thrums with the triumphant footfalls of the Liberal Army. Think less goose-stepping Prussians and more a samba on steroids, fueled by revolutionary fervor and the infectious beat of freedom drums.
Now, rewind a tad. Three years, to be precise. 1857. Mexico, a land where waltzes and polka mazurkas co-existed uneasily with whispers of reform. On one side, the Conservatives, twirling in silk gowns and feathered sombreros, clinging to the creaking edifice of colonialism. On the other, the Liberals, a ragtag bunch in dusty boots and calloused hands, itching to rip up the rulebook and write a new one in ink dipped in liberty.