A Study of the Invisible Art Form and Interviews with Women Screenwriters
The Story of the Mexican Screenplay focuses on a general historical investigation of the Mexican screenplay, specifically on women’s screenwriting. In addition to screenplay analysis, the interviews with women screenwriters are revealing of various cultural issues such as gender discrimination in the work place, political censorship, collective screenwriting, and collaboration among writers, and with the director. These topics explain, in part, the double marginalization of female screenwriting in Mexico.
Chapter Five. The Women Pioneers of Mexican Cinema: Interview with Marcela Fernández Violante
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• CHAPTER FIVE •
The Women Pioneers of Mexican Cinema
Interview with Marcela Fernández Violante
A native of Mexico City, Marcela Fernández Violante is among the most influential directors of Mexican cinema. After graduating from the University Center of Cinematographic Studies (CUEC) at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in 1971, Fernández Violante initiates her career in film with her first documentary, Frida Kahlo (1972), based on the life of the famous Mexican painter. As a result of the policy of freedom of expression in cinema supported by Mexican president Luis Echeverría, she directs her first feature film sponsored and produced by UNAM, De todos modos Juan te llamas [The General’s Daughter] (1974). It centers on the “Cristero” War of 1927 and the consolidation of the PRI as a political party. Before another period of censorship under the administration of President José López Portillo begins, Fernández Violante is able to direct one more feature film emphasizing historical and political national issues—Cananea (1977)—that is based on the first Mexican strike in 1906 during the last lustrum of the Porfirio Díaz dictatorship. The film focuses on the brutal consequential repression of the Mexican mine workers at the hands of Arizona rangers hired by Colonel Green, the mine’s owner. Both The General’s Daughter as well as Cananea won multiple festival nominations and awards such as the Ariel, the Guadalajara, and the Karlovy Vary Film Festival.
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