Latin American Cinema: Beyond the Farm & Factory

Instructor: Adriana Pitetta

Course Offered: Spring 2017

Cross listed: Gender Studies 333

This course will explore the role of work and its close relation with sexuality and violence in contemporary Latin American cinema by examining both film media’s representational capacity and its aesthetic composition or form, as well as the worldling effect of cinema. Considering that films not only create narratives, but also produce thought, we will focus on an analysis of Latin American contemporary films to interrogate whether the idea of work in its many new (and not so new) forms can function as an aesthetic, theoretical and/or affective device to rethink the social, the political, and the economic.

Are Latin American films just “taking the picture” of the sociopolitical and economic violence that characterizes the Latin American “reality” of today? Do the representations of informal workers and their daily lives offer new ways of thinking about and processing sociopolitical, cultural, gender, generational and economic conflicts? Are the informality, precariousness and vulnerably of the bodies excluded from the “formal markets”, as well as their violence, being commodified and reified as elements of the Latin American exceptionality?

We will address these questions by exploring the ways in which Latin America cinema builds its complex relationship to the violent forces of the neoliberal state and globalization. In order to do this, we will work with three interconnected lines of analysis. First, we will study several Latin American films from various nations and productions that include Victor Gaviria’s La vendedora de rosas (Colombia, 1998), Alejandro González Iñarritú’s Amores perros (México, 2000), Claudia Llosa’s La teta asustada (Perú, 2009) Damián Szifron’s Relatos salvajes (Argentina 2014), Adrián Caetano´s Bolivia (Argentina, 2001), Juan Carlos Moneglia’s 7 cajas (Paraguay, 2014), Lucrecia Martel’s La ciénaga (Argentina, 2001), Lucia Puenzo’s El niño pez (Argentina, 2009), César Charlone’s El baño del Papa (Uruguay, 2009). Sebastián Silva’s La nana (Chile, 2009), Lucía Carreras’ The greatest house in the world (México/Guatemala, 2015), Jorge Furtado’s O homem que copiava (Brasil, 2003), Abner Benaim’s Chance (Panamá, 2009), Aldo Garay’s El hombre nuevo (Uruguay, 2015). Second, we will look at specific events and cases of violence with which these films engage, such as gender, affective labor, prostitution, racial and class oppression, military dictatorships and the police state, drug trafficking and neoliberal restructuring. Lastly, we will read critical texts by various key authors on theories of violence, gender, film studies, and Latin American cultural studies such as Michael Hardt, Catherine MacKinnon, Arlie Russell Hochschild, Joana Oksala, Kathi Weeks, Saverio Giovacchini, Gettino & Solanas, Badiou, Jean Franco, Ileana Rodríguez, Julieta Paredes, among others.