Themes in Latin American Cinema

A Critical Survey

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About the Book

Analyzing 19 contemporary films from across Latin America, this book identifies and explores seven crucial themes in Latin American film: the indigenous image, sexuality, childhood, female protagonists, crime and corruption, fratricidal wars, and writers as characters. Designed 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. It 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 further discussion and analysis.

About the Author(s)

Keith John Richards has taught Latin American film and literature at the University of Leeds and at the University of Richmond, Virginia. He lives in London, England.

Bibliographic Details

Keith John Richards
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 242
Bibliographic Info: 25 photos, notes, bibliography, filmographies, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3538-8
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8918-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix
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)      14
3. Cabeza de Vaca      22

SECTION TWO • SEXUALITY AND IDENTITY
4. Sexuality and Its Social Dimensions      31
5. Un paraíso bajo las estrellas (Paradise Beneath the Stars)      37
6. Dependencia Sexual (Sexual Dependency)      47
7. Madame Satã      55

SECTION THREE • THE INFANT SAGE
8. The Child as Paradigm in Latin American Film      65
9. El silencio de Neto (The Silence of Neto)      72
10. Maroa      79
11. Paloma de papel (Paper Dove)      84

SECTION FOUR • FEMALE ROLES AND STEREOTYPES
12. Women Protagonists in Latin American Film      91
13. A hora da estrela (The Hour of the Star)      98
14. En la puta vida (In This Tricky Life)      104
15. Novia que te vea (Like a Bride)      109

SECTION FIVE • CRIME AND CORRUPTION
16. A Spectrum of Criminality: Gangsters, Politicians and the Military      119
17. Ratas, ratones, rateros (Rodents)      126
18. Perder es cuestión de método (The Art of Losing)      133
19. Días de Santiago (Days of Santiago)      141

SECTION SIX • FRATRICIDE AND NEO-IMPERIALISM: TWENTIETH-CENTURY CONFLICTS
20. Fratricidal Wars and Imperialism      147
21. Iluminados por el fuego (Blessed by Fire)      154
22. Mi mejor enemigo (My Best Enemy)      163
23. Hamaca paraguaya (Paraguayan Hammock)      169

SECTION SEVEN • THE POET IN THE CITY
24. Writers as Characters      177
25. El lado oscuro del corazón (Dark Side of the Heart)      184
26. Caída al cielo (Loud Whispers)      192

Chapter Notes      201
Bibliography      209
Index      215

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Valuable”—Communication Booknotes Quarterly.