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Gender and Violence in Spanish Culture

From Vulnerability to Accountability


Edited By María José Gámez Fuentes and Rebeca Maseda García

For the true exercise of citizenship to occur, gender violence must be eradicated, as it is not an interpersonal problem, but an attack on the very concept of democracy. Despite increasing social awareness and legal measures taken to fight gender violence, it is still prevalent worldwide. Even in a country such as Spain, praised in the UN Handbook for Legislation on Violence Against Women (2010) for its advanced approach on gender violence, the legal framework has proved insufficient and deeper sociocultural changes are needed. This book presents, in this respect, groundbreaking investigations in the realm of politics, activism, and cultural production that offer both a complex picture of the agents involved in its transformation and a nuanced panorama of initiatives that subvert the normative framework of recognition of victims of gender violence. As a result, the book chapters articulate a construction of the victim as a subject that reflects and acts upon his/her experience and vulnerability, and also adopt perspectives that frame accountability within the representational tradition, the community, and the state.

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Chapter Eleven: Carmina o revienta and Carmina y amén: Female Transgressions of Victimhood in Spanish Popular Cinema (María Castejón Leorza / Rebeca Maseda García)


chapter eleven

Carmina o revienta and Carmina y amén

Female Transgressions of Victimhood in Spanish Popular Cinema

María Castejón Leorza and Rebeca Maseda García

Why Carmina?

According to the Spanish film critic Diego Galan, in his documentary Con la pata quebrada [With a Broken Leg] (Diego Galán 2013), gender violence has always been present in Spanish films, but exhibited mainly as a domestic/private issue, without any political insight, and mostly justifying and normalizing an ever present reality in the Spanish society. However, films like Solo mía [Only Mine] (Javier Balaguer 2001), Te doy mis ojos [Take my Eyes] (Iciar Bollaín 2003), the TV movie No estás sola, Sara [You Are Not Alone, Sarah] (Carlos Sedes 2009), and even Solas [Alone] (Benito Zambrano 1999) signaled the end of an era with a tendency to oversimplify this delicate issue by bringing forth a stark picture of women’s ordeal in contexts of domestic violence. Thus such works helped raise awareness regarding gender violence and made visible what was considered to be “a private problem” until recently (De Miguel 2005). These films were shot in Spain amid a receptive social climate—reflected in the passing of the Law against Gender Violence (2004)—sensitive to condemn and tackle gender violence, and in great need of a new frame of reference.

The fact that several popular films brought to the fore principles long fought by the...

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