Themes in Latin American Cinema

A Critical Survey, 2d ed.

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About the Book

This updated and expanded edition gives critical analyses of 23 Latin American films from the last 20 years, including the addition of four films from Bolivia. Explored throughout the text are seven crucial themes: the indigenous image, sexuality, childhood, female protagonists, crime and corruption, fratricidal wars, and writers as characters. Designed for general and scholarly interest, as well as a guide for teachers of Hispanic culture or Latin American film and literature, the book provides a sweeping look at the logistical circumstances of filmmaking in the region along with the criteria involved in interpreting a Latin American film. The book also includes interviews with and brief biographies of influential filmmakers, along with film synopses, production details and credits, transcripts of selected scenes, and suggestions for discussion and analysis.

Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Keith John Richards is originally from London, England. He has taught Latin American film and literature at the University of Leeds and at the University of Richmond, Virginia. He researched and wrote this book while living in La Paz, Bolivia. He now lives in Spain.

Bibliographic Details

Keith John Richards

Foreword by Alfonso Gumucio-Dagron

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 303
Bibliographic Info: 33 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7782-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3776-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  vii

Foreword by Alfonso ­Gumucio-Dagron  1

Introduction  3

Section One • ­Pre-Columbian Mexico

1. The Indigenous Image: From Caricature to ­Self-Portrait  7

2. Eréndira ikikunari (Indomitable Eréndira)  16

3. Cabeza de Vaca  25

4. Ivy Marãey  35

5. Viejo Calavera (Old Skull)  47

Section Two • Sexuality and Identity

6. Sexuality and Its Social Dimensions  59

7. Un paraíso bajo las estrellas (Paradise Under the Stars)  67

8. Dependencia sexual (Sexual Dependency)  78

9. Madame Satã  87

Section Three • The Infant Sage

10. The Child as Survivor and Paradigm in Latin American Film  97

11. El silencio de Neto (The Silence of Neto)  105

12. Maroa  112

13. Paloma de papel (Paper Dove)  117

Section Four • Female Roles and Stereotypes

14. Women Protagonists in Latin American Film  125

15. A hora da estrela (The Hour of the Star)  134

16. En la puta vida (In This Tricky Life)  140

17. Novia que te vea (Like a Bride)  146

Section Five • Crime and Corruption

18. A Spectrum of Criminality: Gangsters, Politicians and the Military  157

19. Ratas, ratones, rateros (Rodents)  165

20. Perder es cuestión de método (The Art of Losing)  173

21. Días de Santiago (Days of Santiago)  181

22. Las bellas durmientes (The Sleeping Beauties)  187

Section Six • ­Twentieth-Century Conflicts

23. Fratricidal Wars and Imperialism  195

24. Iluminados por el fuego (Blessed by Fire)  203

25. Mi mejor enemigo (My Best Enemy)  213

26. Hamaca paraguaya (Paraguayan Hammock)  220

Section Seven • The Poet in the City

27. Writers as Characters  227

28. El lado oscuro del corazón (Dark Side of the Heart)  235

29. Caída al cielo (Loud Whispers)  243

30. Averno  253

Chapter Notes  261

Bibliography  269

Index  277

Book Reviews & Awards

  • Reviews from the first edition: “Valuable”—Communication Booknotes Quarterly