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Review Studies in Hispanic Cinemas

Studies in Spanish & Latin-American cinemas

Review TECSISTECATL Revista Académica de Ciencias Sociales de México

Year: 2012 vol. 8 n. 2

Frohlich, Margaret. What of unnatural bodies? The discourse of nature in Lucía Puenzo’s XXY and El niño pez/The Fish Child .  / ¿Qué acerca de cuerpos no naturales? El discurso de naturaleza en El niño pez de Lucía Puenzo p. 159-174 Argentina
Niño pez / Lucía Puenzo / XXY / Intersexual / Lesbianas / Pez Niño
Siglo XXI


As part of a broader goal of understanding how discourses of nature inform and affect gender and sexuality, this essay analyses two films by Argentine director Lucía Puenzo, XXY (2007) and El niño pez/The Fish Child (2009). Both films depict adolescents who are developing a sense of self in relation to norms of gender and sexuality and whose experience of sexual desire does not conform to the dominant heterosexual paradigm: the desire between an adolescent boy and an intersex adolescent who is raised as a girl in XXY and between two young women in The Fish Child. Each film inverts the natural/unnatural binary that is common to medical and juridical epistemologies of the sexual subject in favour of marginalized bodies and sexual practices. In so doing, they proceed by an internal conflict between their emphasis on personal freedom and their adherence to the logic of nature by which ‘natural’ bodies and practices are legitimated. Nature appears as part of a moral framework that functions as a limit condition, rather than an extension, of personal freedom. The fiction of nature is more firmly held in place in XXY than in The Fish Child, whose young characters knowingly dismantle and reconstruct as fiction the narrative of their lives.

Garibotto, Verónica.  Iconic fictions: Narrating recent Argentine history in post-2000 second-generation films.  / Ficciones icónicas: narrando la historia reciente Argentina en películas de segunda generación post-2000 p. 175-187 Argentina
Cautiva / Gastón Biraben / Niños / Películas de ficción / Iconicidad / Posterior a la dictadura / Segunda generación / Adolescentes
Siglo XX | Siglo XXI


This article examines a recent trend in Argentine post-dictatorial cinema that has not received sufficient critical attention: post-2000 fictional films by second-generation film-makers that go back to a child’s or a teenager’s perspective, and to an ‘archaic’ pre-1990s format. By focusing on a political thriller that I find paradigmatic of this recent trend, Gastón Biraben’s Cautiva/Captive (2005), I argue that these films (which I call ‘iconic fictions’) should not be read as additional examples of contemporary second-generation narratives. Instead, I propose that their formal exception attests to an intra-generational tension regarding the representation of recent history (in particular, regarding the representation of 1970s political activism). In these films, the use of fiction (and of a child’s or a teenager’s perspective) allows for a predominance of iconicity over indexicality – a predominance that entails crucial ideological connotations for contemporary Argentina and that demands a re-examination of the efficacy of representing history through a child’s or a teenager’s lens.

Seminet, Georgia. A post-revolutionary childhood: Nostalgia and collective memory in Viva Cuba .  / Una infancia posrevolucionaria: La nostalgia y la memoria colectiva en Viva Cuba p. 189-202 Cuba
Infancia / Niños / Memoria colectiva / Globalización / Identidad nacional / Nostalgia
Siglo XX | Siglo XXI


The Soviet Union’s withdrawal of support for the Cuban economy provoked a ‘Special Period’ in Cuba in the 1990s. The Special Period and the ongoing threat posed by globalization have led several Cuban artists and intellectuals to speculate regarding the foundations of Cuban identity in the future. This article analyses the film Viva Cuba (Cremata Malberti, 2005) as a nostalgic representation of Cuban identity in the face of an uncertain future. Within this context, the young stars of the film become a vehicle through which Cuba’s past and questions about the future are interwoven into a wistful allegory that ponders the complexity of Cuban identity in a globalized world.

Studies in Spanish & Latin-American cinemas
Paper | Numerical version with subscription | Cuatrimestral | United Kingdom SLAC
Print ISSN: 2050-4837
Online ISSN: 2050-4845
Year of creation: 2013

Publisher: Intellect Ltd.
Address: The Mill, Parnall Road, Fishponds, Bristol, BS16 3JG, United Kingdom


Formerly published as Studies in Hispanic Cinemas, 2004-2013, the journal is dedicated to the study of Spanish-speaking and Latin American cinemas. Coverage includes the cinemas of Spain and Spanish-speaking South, Central and North America, including the Caribbean, and Brazil. Our target readership includes students, teachers and scholars. The double-blind peer-reviewed journal is written in English to maximize the opportunities for contact between academic disciplines such as Media, Film Studies, Latin American and Post- colonial Studies, as well as Hispanic Studies, thereby encouraging an inter-cultural and inter-disciplinary focus.

Review related to: Studies in Hispanic Cinemas

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