Cinematic Representations of Latin America: Local versus Global

Module code: SP3140 
Module co-ordinator: Dr Clara Garavelli

Module Aims

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 ‘Che’ Guevara.

Module Outcomes

On completion of this module students 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 underdevelopment and misery praise, gender, class and ethnicity’s power relations. They will be able to discuss recurrent themes in contemporary Latin American history and to demonstrate their knowledge of cinematic techniques through oral and written presentations.


  • 4 hours of lectures
  • 16 hours of seminars
  • 130 hours of guided independent study

Each new topic and film will be introduced by a lecture, followed by seminar presentations and group discussions.


  • Essay, 2,500-3,000 words (50%)
  • Presentation (20%)
  • Written exam, 2 hours (30%)

Set filmography

The Three Caballeros (Walt Disney 1945)
María Candelaria (E. Fernández 1943)
Carmen Miranda, Bananas Is My Business (H. Sodeberg 1995)
La Hora de los Hornos [The Hour of the Furnaces] (Getino Solanas 1968)
Memorias del subdesarrollo [Memories of Underdevelopment] (Tomás G. Alea 1968)
Agarrando Pueblo (Colombia, Luis Ospina y Carlos Mayolo, 1977)
Cidade de deus [City of God] (Meirelles, Lund 2002)
Che: Part One and Che: Part Two (S. Soderbergh 2008)

Key background reading

Elena, Alberto and Díaz López, Marina (eds.), The Cinema of Latin America (London: Wallflower Press, 2006)
Matheou, Demetrious, The Faber Book of New South American Cinema (London: Faber and Faber, 2010)

Additional Resources

A full reading list will be provided in the first week of teaching and will be available on Blackboard.