• Deborah Martin
Part of the Global Cinema book series (GLOBALCINE)


The introduction places the contemporary films to which the study devotes most of its attention in historical context. It devotes special attention to the way the child featured in Latin American melodramas and later in New Latin American Cinema classics. Despite their overt and ostensible ideological differences, melodrama (1940s–1950s), and militant cinema (1960s–1970s), both drew on Catholic humanist imaginaries of the child, especially the suffering child, in order to appeal to viewers emotionally (Podalsky in Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media 49:144–60, 2008). The Introduction proposes that continuities and shifts can be traced in contemporary Latin American film with regard to these earlier models of child-representation. In addition to analysing the child’s role in these mid-century movements of Latin American cinema, this section will introduce the place of the child within cinema more widely: the role of the child as witness in neorealism and the idea of the child as a bearer of the time-image (Deleuze in Cinema 2: The Time-Image, Continuum, London, 1989); the question of the child’s otherness which may or may not be ‘anthropomorphised’ (Bazin in Cardullo (ed) Bazin at Work: Major Essays and Reviews from the Forties and Fifties, Routledge, London, 1997) by cinematic codes, and of the ways in which cinema may attempt to emulate a child’s perspective, or experience. Likewise, the child’s close relationship with political representations and the particular representational uses which (postcolonial) national narratives find for the child-figure are introduced here.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deborah Martin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American StudiesUniversity College LondonLondonUK

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