The chapters in this book show the important role that political documentary cinema has played in Latin America since the 1950s. Political documentary cinema in Latin America has a long history of tracing social injustice and suffering, depicting political unrest, intervening in periods of crisis and upheaval, and reflecting upon questions about ideology, cultural identity, genocide and traumatic memory. This collection bears witness to the region's film culture's diversity, discussing documentaries about workers' strikes, riots, and military coups against elected governments; crime, poverty, homelessness, prostitution, children's work, and violence against women; urban development, progress, (under)development, capitalism, and neoliberalism; exile, diaspora and border cultures; trauma and (post)memory. The chapters focus on documentaries made in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Mexico, and Venezuela, as well as on the work of Latino and diasporic Latin American political documentarians. The contributors to the anthology reflect the cultural and linguistic diversity of current Latin American film scholarship, with some writing in Spanish and Portuguese from Argentina and Brazil (with their original works especially translated), and others writing in English from Australia, Europe, and the USA.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Social Identities.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Political documentary cinema in Latin America Antonio Traverso and Kristi Wilson 2. Contesting the optic of (under)development: Tire dié and the emergence of independent documentary cinema in Argentina, ca. 1958 Isis Sadek 3. The worker’s voice in post-1968 Argentine political documentary Mariano Mestman 4. Documentaries and politics in post-dictatorship Argentina: Cuarentena: Exilio y regreso and Juan, como si nada hubiera sucedido by Carlos Echeverría Paola Margulis 5. Argentine multiculturalism and the ethnographic shift in documentary cinema: Martín Rejtman’s Copacabana Antonio Gómez 6. The land, the road, and the freedom to move on: the tension between documentary and fiction in Iracema, uma transa amazônica Erin Aldana 7. Grassroots activist video documentary in Brazil and the construction of new cultural identities: the case of the Homeless Workers Movement Marina Cavalcanti Tedesco 8. Exhumations and double disappearance: Silvio Caiozzi’s Fernando ha vuelto and ¿Fernando ha vuelto a desaparecer? Tomás Crowder-Taraborrelli 9. Paine memorial: a visual essay Antonio Traverso and Enrique Azúa 10. Ecce Homo Novus: snapshots, the ‘new man’, and iconic montage in the work of Santiago Alvarez Kristi M. Wilson 11. The postcolonial city symphony film and the ‘ruins’ of Suite Habana Salomé Aguilera Skvirsky 12. Independent documentary filmmaking in Jamaica: an interview with Esther Figueroa E.S. Martens 13. The proximity of the here and the urgency of the now: Lourdes Portillo’s Señorita Extraviada Jillian Sandell 14. Documentaries and celebrities, democracy and impunity: thawing the revolution in twenty-first-century Mexico Misha MacLaird 15. From Papapapá to Sleep Dealer: Alex Rivera’s undocumentary poetics Amy Sara Carroll 16. The revolution was (over)televised: reconstructing the Venezuelan media coup of 11 April 2002 Nilo Couret
Antonio Traverso is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies, Curtin University, Australia. He is the co-editor of ‘Political Documentary Cinema in the Southern Cone’ (2013, special issue of Latin American Perspectives), Interrogating Trauma (2011), and Living Through Terror (2011).
Kristi M. Wilson is an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Composition and Affiliate Assistant Professor of Humanities at Soka University of America, USA. She is the co-editor of Italian Neorealism and Global Cinema (2007) and Film and Genocide (2012).