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Queer Issues in Contemporary Latin American Cinema

By David William Foster

Publication Year: 2003

Viewing contemporary Latin American films through the lens of queer studies reveals that many filmmakers are exploring issues of gender identity and sexual difference, as well as the homophobia that attempts to defeat any challenge to the heterosexual norms of patriarchal culture. In this study of queer issues in Latin American cinema, David William Foster offers highly perceptive queer readings of fourteen key films to demonstrate how these cultural products promote the principles of an antiheterosexist stance while they simultaneously disclose how homophobia enforces the norms of heterosexuality. Foster examines each film in terms of the ideology of its narrative discourse, whether homoerotic desire or a critique of patriarchal heterosexism and its implications for Latin American social life and human rights. His analyses underscore the difficulties involved in constructing a coherent and convincing treatment of the complex issues involved in critiquing the patriarchy from perspectives associated with queer studies. The book will be essential reading for everyone working in queer studies and film studies.

Published by: University of Texas Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-xix

This book is the fourth in a series dealing with Latin American film. Contemporary Argentine Cinema (1994) examined Argentine filmmaking since the return to constitutional democracy in 1983 and was therefore focused on films that dealt with issues of re-democratization in that country: the abuse of power, authoritarianism, ...

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Introit Queer Difference

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pp. 1-18

Approximately ten minutes into María Luisa Bemberg’s De eso no se habla (1993), Leonor, the mother of the central character, Charlotte, awakens the boy who runs errands and helps out in the general store she owns and orders him to hitch her sulky, and she rides out into the countryside. There, ax in hand, Leonor approaches ...

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Homosexuality In and Out of the Closet

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pp. 19-49

It is a generally accepted principle in queer studies that no adequate definition of heterosexuality would be possible without the category of the ‘‘homosexual’’ (Dollimore; Katz). In conformance with basic principles of semiotics, no sign can exist without defining what it is not, and what it is not is as important as what it is. In the distinctive feature analysis ...

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Political Intersections

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pp. 50-84

Released in 1984, Néstor Almendros and Orlando Jiménez-Leal’s Conducta impropia1 (Iwill use the title with which it is known in the Spanish-speaking world and among Hispanic scholars) was one of the first major international documents to protest human rights abuses in Castro’s Cuba, which along with the issue of Cuban ...

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Forging Queer Spaces

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pp. 85-126

One long final sequence occurs in Jaime Humberto Hermosillo’s 1985 film, Doña Herlinda y su hijo (Doña Herlinda and Her Son).1 The sequence ends with the baptism of the infant child of the main character,Rodolfo. Surrounded by his loving wife, adoring mother, and closest friends, Rodolfo presents his son to the world to the strains ...

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Queer Transcendence

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pp. 127-162

There is a moment, about a half-hour into Marcelo Piñeyro’s Plata quemada (2000, based on Ricardo Piglia’s 1997 novel of the same name), of really quite purely tragic dimensions. I use the word ‘‘tragic’’ advisedly, not in its overused sense of ‘‘pathetic’’ or ‘‘unfortunate,’’ nor to capture the inevitable violence and death that stalk all ...


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pp. 163-170


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pp. 171-180


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pp. 181-186

E-ISBN-13: 9780292798694
E-ISBN-10: 0292798695
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292705364
Print-ISBN-10: 0292705360

Page Count: 208
Illustrations: 22 halftones
Publication Year: 2003