How an overlooked film industry became a cinematic force
“The best introduction to Central American film in the twenty-first century. Offers a nuanced analysis of filmmaking in all its complexity and diversity.”—Valeria Grinberg Pla, Bowling Green State University
“Insightful essays explore a diverse array of Central American films which tell the stories of a difficult past but also of resilience and survival in the present day. This collection makes the diverse filmic production in the region visible and legible to an English language readership and gives it an important place worthy of exploration within the scope of Latin American film studies.”—Tamara L. Falicov, author of Latin American Film Industries
“Not only highlights an understudied geographical region, but also shines a light on lesser-known artists, thereby bringing attention to them and, through their cinematographic works, to populations and cultural groups that remain underrepresented both on the international scale as well as within the Central American countries themselves.”—Andrea Cabezas Vargas, University of Angers
The first book in English dedicated to the study of Central American film, this volume explores the main trends, genres, and themes that define this emerging industry. The seven nations of the region have seen an unprecedented growth in film production during the twenty-first century with the creation of over 200 feature-length films compared with just one in the 1990s. This volume provides a needed overview of one of the least explored cinemas in the world.
In these essays, various scholars of film and cultural studies from around the world provide insights into the continuities and discontinuities between twentieth- and twenty-first-century cinematic production on the Isthmus. They discuss how political, social, and environmental factors, along with new production modes and aesthetics, have led to a corpus of films that delve into issues of the past and present such as postwar memory, failed revolutions, trauma, migration, popular culture, minority populations, and gender disparities.
From Salvadoran documentaries to Costa Rican comedies and Panamanian sports films, the movies analyzed here demonstrate the region’s flourishing film industry and the diversity of approaches found within it. The Rise of Central American Film in the Twenty-First Century pays homage to an overlooked cultural phenomenon and shows the importance of regional cinema studies.
Mauricio Espinoza is assistant professor of Spanish and Latin American literature and cultural studies at the University of Cincinnati. Jared List is an associate professor of Spanish at Doane University.
Contributors: Liz Harvey-Kattou | Daniela Granja Núñez | Carolina Sanabria | Juan Carlos Rodríguez | María Lourdes Cortés | Júlia González de Canales Carcereny | Arno Jacob Argueta | Tomás Arce Mairena | Dr. Mauricio Espinoza | Lilia García Torres | Dr. Jared List | Patricia Arroyo Calderón | Esteban E. Loustaunau | Héctor Fernández L'Hoeste | Juan Pablo Gómez Lacayo | Jennifer Carolina Gómez Menjívar
A volume in the series Reframing Media, Technology, and Culture in Latin/o America, edited by Héctor Fernández L’Hoeste and Juan Carlos Rodríguez
Publication of this work made possible by a Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
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