Cinematic Representations of Latin America: Local versus Global

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

In this module you will explore different approaches to the cinematic representations of Latin America. We will pay particular attention to the construction of stereotypes and to the formation of national, regional, class and gender identities. We 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.

You will develop 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.

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

Films covered

  • The Three Caballeros (Walt Disney, 1945)
  • María Candelaria (Emilio Fernández, 1943)
  • La Hora de los Hornos [The Hour of the Furnaces] Part 1 (Getino Solanas, 1968)
  • Memorias del subdesarrollo [Memories of Underdevelopment] (Tomás G Alea, 1968)
  • Agarrando Pueblo (Luis Ospina and Carlos Mayolo, 1977)
  • Carmen Miranda, Bananas Is My Business (Helena Solberg, 1995)
  • Cidade de deus [City of God] (Fernando Meirelles and Bráulio Lund, 2002)
  • Che: Part One (Steven Soderbergh 2008)
  • No (Pablo Larrain, 2012)


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


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