Bloody Femininities: The Horrors of Marianismo and Maternity in Recent Latin American Cinema



Mothering has long constituted a topos of horror cinema whereby the fecund female subject is directly associated with monstrosity through her ability to carry a life within and the bodily changes that occur to her body. This chapter discusses the ways in which mothering and the maternal are problematised as part of an ongoing rhetoric of female subjectivity in the Southern Cone. It argues that the anxieties of machista ideology are projected onto the maternal body through providing a negative reading of fertility whereby the site of reproduction is the site of sin. The female protagonists in the films under study have defied mariana codes of female sexuality by engaging in sex outside wedlock or by rejecting the support of their male partners during pregnancy. Their pregnant bodies are portrayed as sites of lust that render the mariana figure morally corrupt.


Female Body Female Character Maternal Body Unborn Baby Female Protagonist 
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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Birkbeck CollegeUniversity of LondonLondonUK

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