Infancia marginal en el Cine Hispanoamericano (1950-1969)
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This dissertation focuses on the representation of marginalized childhood in five films related to so-called "Third Cinema" from Spanish America: Luis Bunuel's Los olvidados (1950), Fernando Birri's Tire die (1960), Patricio Kaulen's Largo Viaje (1967), Aldo Francia's Valparaiso mi amor (1969), and Leonardo Favio's Cronica de un nino solo (1965). Considering childhood as a modern cultural or ideological construct in which antinomies such as innocence/evil, autonomy/control, past/future coexist, this study examines the sociopolitical and aesthetic implications of these conflicts within the Latin American context. Using different approaches drawn from postcolonial and film theory, its purpose is to identify the specific features of the so-called "language of childhood" developed by each one of the films. The first chapter examines Los olvidados through a parallel exploration of the representation of urban space and marginalized childhood. The Freudian notion of the unheimlich is used to develop the concept of the "unconscious child," a "remainder" of childhood in the adult subject analogous to the shantytowns in the margins of modem cities. Going one step further, Gilles Deleuze's notion of the "missing people" will help to characterize the role of childhood in Bunuel's analysis of the contemporary Mexican metropolis. The second chapter studies Tire die , a documentary film, focusing on the role of language as a tool of "subjection" for both the child and the colonized subject. The "social other" as a child is again the parallel that allows us to analyze Birri's decision to dub the voices of the protagonists and its effects in the film as an ambiguous emancipatory gesture. The third chapter analyzes Largo viaje, Valparaiso mi amor , and Cronica de un nino solo . It reads the cinematic language deployed in the films as an attempt to "re-produce" the wandering of children living in the streets. Jacques Ranciere's notions of the "ignorant schoolmaster" and the "emancipated spectator" are exploited to establish a dialogue between these children in constant movement and the passive spectator implied in the films. The narrative options developed in this cinematic corpus to depict childhood as a contradictory concept provide rich elements to question and resignify the approaches of Latin American cinema to marginality, subalternity, and emancipation.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University
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