Books

This book explores and analyzes Colombian film production and the way directors have addressed issues of power, race, social class, and gender.

 

The country’s history of violence constitutes the strongest axis of film production; however, my essays shed light on components of national cinema generally not taken into account, such as silent film, incursions in gothic cinema, filmnoir, and experimental cinema.

Cinembargo Colombia presents a balance between mainstream and relatively unknown films, and between film literature in Colombia and that of other Latin American countries, Europe, and the United States.

This is the translation of Cinembargo Colombia; it presents results from further archival work. 

Informed by theories on violence and representation, I argue that the discourse on Colombian violence must be understood in light of a plurality of meanings, as a discourse encompassing diverse kinds of violence.

 

By analyzing Colombian film, literature, and visual and musical production, as well as projects intended for the construction of critical memory that unsettle the notion of “museum,” I examine the strategies of representing violence and the role of cultural production in the redefinition of the nation.

 

The discussion focuses on cultural production from 1980 to 2005, when the country experienced complex political and violent upheavals, as issues of illegal and informal economies challenged the economy and culture.

 

As it is true that those are particular characteristics of bipartisan Colombian political violence of the 1950s (known as La Violencia), I trace the overarching continuity of those forms of violence between the present armed conflict and the issues of an unsolved modernity project in Colombia, where unresolved inequalities are exacerbated by the way violence related to illegal drug trafficking redesigned the inclusion / exclusion social dyad.

In this volume, contributors examine a variety of humor manifestations such as parody, irony, satire, the grotesque, and eschatological humor evident in different Latin American films.

 

Contributions also address different humor legacies such as exploitation cinema, Brazilian chanchada, Cantinflas’ heritage and comedia ranchera, exploring the diverse social and political functions humor holds within Latin American cultures.

 

My chapter “Colombian Popular Comedy for Dummies: The Nieto Roa and Dago García Producciones Formula” compares two different humor traditions that have proven effective in the box office, one from the 1980s and a recent one. 

It discusses the contradictions of successful commercial formulas that insist on regional stereotypes at a time when dominant cultural discourses claim for a construction of an inclusive nation.