Chicana/o Studies (CHI) 65: New Latin American Cinema
This introductory level course provides a historical, critical and theoretical survey of the new cinemas of Latin America and their relationship to the emergence of U.S. Latino cinema. We will compare classic period films to the politically militant “new cinema” of the 1960s-70s with the “quality” films made since the 1980s for local, global markets and international film festival audiences.
Screenings and readings are roughly divided chronologically and by countries allowing us to think about the specific role that cinema has played in the formation of different national cultures. Along with this nation-based approach, films will be analyzed in relation to the transcontinental category of “Latin American Cinema.” To that end, the course will also examine the indigenous theories of cinema that emerged as part of the movement known as the “New Latin American Cinema.” This transnational cinematic movement emerged during the 1960s and called for the creation of a distinct cinematic language for representing the particular social, cultural, political and national realities and concerns of Latin American countries.
Part of our intellectual inquiry when analyzing films produced after the late 1980s will be to assess whether or not filmmakers still follow the precepts postulated by theories formulated during the height of the New Latin American Cinema. Additionally, questions related to issues of cultural difference, particularly in relation to race, ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality, will be central to our discussions of the films screened in class as well as the assigned readings.
Written requirements consist of six short critical response papers that engage the specific assigned readings and an in-class final. The final exam will consist of identification questions and short essays.