Visible Nations: Latin American Cinema and Video

Visible Nations: Latin American Cinema and Video

Visible Nations: Latin American Cinema and Video

Visible Nations: Latin American Cinema and Video

Synopsis

Rewrites Latin American film from the perspective of nationhood.

In the current "global" moment, the study of Latin American cinema has become insistently national—a phenomenon fully explored in this collection of essays by some of the most interesting and innovative scholars of media and Latin American culture working today.

Excerpt

Chon A. Noriega

This project begins with an ironic observation: in the current “global” moment, the study of Latin American cinema has become insistently national, struggling in the space between the residual and emergent metanarratives that have set the terms through which the entire region is understood and studied. I use “residual” and “emergent” to signal the concurrent presence and influence of two modes of understanding Latin American history as well as to suggest that one mode is becoming dominant as the other loses ideological force. With respect to cinema studies, each mode has circumscribed not only a set of critical approaches but also the very object of study itself. in the former, pan-Americanism vis-à-vis the United States correlated to a focus on the New Latin American Cinema of the 1960s. in the latter, a critical insistence on the place and function of the nation-state within an emerging globalism correlated, first, to telecommunication studies and, more recently, to historiographic models for studying the national film industries in Latin America. a closer look at each of these modes will provide a brief history of the field as it relates to the nation-state, internationalism, and globalism—that is, the contested terrain in which this anthology locates its critical project.

In the residual metanarrative, scholars are encountering the historiographic limitations of the particular transnational paradigm articulated by the New Latin American Cinema and its critics. Here, Bolivar and Martí’s political dream of pan-American unity, articulated as a hemispheric nationalism (the gran patria of nuestra América), underscored the film movement’s rejection of both Hollywood and the national industries in Latin America. This rejection was not without profound contradictions. As Patricia Aufderheide notes: “What had been a diverse film movement led by middle-

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