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Socio-critical Aspects in Latin American Cinema(s)

Themes – Countries – Directors – Reviews

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Edited By Isabel Maurer Queipo

This anthology provides an insight into Latin American sociocultural life and history as expressed by the medium of film. After an overview about the Socio-political Cinema in Latin America, the subsequent articles spotlight socio-historical and cinematic topics such as Film and History, Guerilla Filmmaking and Indigenous Cinema. The following essays aim at presenting paradigmatically selected nations with their rich and turbulent histories and at providing the opportunity for more detailed discussion of some of the fascinating Latin American film-makers. Finally, various reviews of mainly contemporary films focusing on socio-critical aspects complete this volume.

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Socio-Critical Aspects

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Maribel Cedeño Rojas: Socio-Political Cinema Fig. 1: Florence Jaugey: La Yuma, 2010 © Trigon Films In the films of the New Latin American Cinema from the 1990s onwards-urgent political and social questions generally replace politics. Differently from the po- litically oriented cinema developed in the late 1950s and 1960s, this new wave does not intend to politicize and mobilize collectives in order to create a new na- tional culture and liberate people from neocolonialism. In the past, cinematic movements from different Latin American countries aimed at creating an own national and decolonized culture, a culture that should accompany revolutionary movements to break the bonds of political and social dependency. According to the theoretical statements or manifests written by filmmakers of some of these political cinema movements, the relationship between the film and the viewer had to change. Their common goal was to free the viewer through a cinema that not only represented their own reality and denunciated social injusti- ce but also required them to actively participate in the construction of meaning and in political struggle. This perspective clearly opposed the escapism and pas- siveness proposed by Hollywood’s commercial cinema. 14 Unlike institutionalized film productions that usually conveyed the point of view of a particular author or cinematography, political cinema cantered on politics: the message was the key element and not the author or the production. Produc- tion and credits were collective, not individual. Artistic value played a seconda- ry role. The different film collectives also created alternative cinema circuits,...

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