Cinematic Representations of Latin America

Module code: SP3140

This module explores different approaches to the cinematic representations of Latin America. Particular attention will be paid to the construction of stereotypes and to the formation of national, regional, class, and gender identities. This module will also focus on how films ‘reflect’ or ‘construct’ the socio-political contexts they refer to, and how they have contributed to the on-going mythical construction of iconic figures such as Carmen Miranda and ‘Che’ Guevara. On completion of this module you will have developed a critical awareness of the imaginaries generated by the cinematic representations of Latin America, such as the particular national and regional identities, the notion of militant cinema, Indigenismo, underdevelopment and misery praise, as well as gender, class and ethnicity’s power relations. You will be able to discuss recurrent themes in contemporary Latin American history and demonstrate your knowledge of cinematic techniques through written presentations.

Topics covered

  • The representation of Latin America from outsiders and from within through cinema
  • The notion of film stereotype
  • Good-Neighbour policy and its cinematic responses
  • The concept of Indigenismo
  • New Latin American cinema of the 1960s and 1970s
  • The concept of miserabilismo (misery praise)
  • Gender, class and ethnicity's power relations portrayed through film
  • Contemporary Latin American cinema
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