Family in Latin American Cinema | Newberry

Family in Latin American Cinema

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

9:30 am to 12:30 pm

Dr. Ana Rodriguez Navas, Loyola University Chicago
Newberry Teachers' Consortium

This seminar will examine the strategies that Latin American filmmakers use to represent families, and the trope of the family more broadly, to explore the social, political and historical realities that mark the region. The family is often thought of as being the most important social unit in Latin America; it is a close-knit social structure, bound through affect, obligation, and tradition, and providing emotional and material support for its members. In literary and cinematic production it has often been read as a synecdoche for the Latin American nation and a key influence in its shaping. But the family can also be a source of conflict or anxiety for its members, and is often held responsible for perpetuating, rather than interrogating, unequal gender roles, class- or race-based divisions, and entrenched ideological perspectives. Through the closed circle of the family, too, larger anxieties about what is perceived as other, or foreign – and the dynamics of exclusion and inclusion inherent in them – are played out on a smaller scale.

In this seminar, we will explore gender roles, particularly through the common trope of the absent father; the meaning of family, which is not always a biological or legal unit; visions of children and of childhood more generally; and the representation of larger socioeconomic, political, and historical currents, in Latin American cinema. The seminar will focus on recent films from Peru, Mexico, and Venezuela, but will also make reference to broader regional cinematic trends.

This NTC seminar will be conducted in Spanish.

Cost and Registration Information 

Registration for all Newberry Teachers’ Consortium seminars opens September 4, 2014.

For NTC registration information, please contact Charlotte Ross at