Latin American Cinema

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When a person watches a film what they see can and may change their life forever. Some films are based on fictional dreams while others are documentaries about marijuana. Whatever a film might consist of depends on the topic of interest and the goal behind it. Cinematography is a business and a lifestyle. People have the potential to influence the world from a television screen thousands of miles away. Most people might have herd about the film industry in Hollywood or Europe and before sound that may have been all they saw. In the twentieth century filmmaking erupted throughout Latin America. Some of historical filmmaking countries are Mexico, Cuba, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. Each and every country in Latin America has a story. For years Latin America and the population amongst it have been heavily influenced. There are some films worth talking about from Latin America. First is Camila (1984), directed by María Luisa Bemberg. This film reflected on Argentine history and was very effective on Argentina’s society. It shows the power of the church and the struggle for change and acceptance. The second film is Yo, La Peor De Todas (1990), also directed by María Luisa Bemberg. This film is based on the hardships of the nuns in Mexico during the seventeenth century. A third film that will be discussed goes back in time and is El Chacal De Nahueltoro (1969, directed by Miguel Littín. This was a documentary on a serial killer from Chile who was poor and overly abusive with alcohol. A fourth and final film that will be discussed is La Frontera(1991), directed by Ricardo Larraín. Each movie that will be discussed represents something historically or presently important about each society.

The film Camila was one of the top hits of all time in Argentina. It ran on a low budget but still made it into classrooms today. It tells a story of a woman and a priest that fell in love. They flee from Camila’s family estate in her hometown because they cannot be together. Thinking they will be safe in there new home in northern Argentina they set up a new life. They are given the chance to leave before being caught but do not take it. They get arrested and eventually executed. Although Camila was pregnant she was not able to live on. Her father had sent a letter to the dictator saying that he wanted his daughter and the priest charged with the maximum sentence. Camila had taken action against her family, church, and state. This was out of the ordinary for an Argentinean women therefore it was not taken lightly. A theme for the film was based on the treatment of women. Bemberg says, “My films are an attempt to make women recognize themselves and learn more about themselves through the protagonists’ predicament. This is my ethical commitment, helping them to be free” (Graham-Yooll.) What Bemberg means is that from the perspective of the love struck Camila, women will recognize their true potential and beauty. She feels it is the right thing to do for the future and it will inspire many more women. At this time Argentina was under the dictatorship of Juan Manuel de Rosas. People would have to hide their true emotions and feelings especially women. When they watched the film in public, they were able to show their true emotion. The death of Camila represented two things, the war torn country from the dictatorship, and the hope for the future. When the movie ends a voice over from Father Ladislao says to Camila, ‘a tu lado, Camila; I’m beside you Camila’ (Stephen M. Hart.) For three hundred years the Church had a major role in Latin American society. The church and religion gave reasons for people to live. If one disobeyed the Church or the government, they would be killed. Camila was killed and was defeated by the trend of society. What that means is she was defeated by the power of the church and state. Camila changed Chile forever because she created a historical and inspiring tail to tell. Some may say Father Ladislao chose the worst sin...
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