Latin American History and Culture through Film


Over the last decade, Latin American films like Amores perros (2000), City of God (2002) and The Motorcycle Diaries (2004) have become highly profitable world hits whose actors, directors and iconic stories about Latin America have entered the US and world film market and inspired spin-off imitations, offering viewers across the globe the impression that we have more access to Latin American history and culture through film than ever before.

International film festivals have acknowledged that this is a new moment of original film production with high artistic value coming out of the region, citing evidence that we now have several Best Director Oscars, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Cannes awards for Mexican directors Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity, 2013) and Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman, 2014, The Revenant ,2015) among others. However none of these latest films is about Latin America. These issues raise new questions about film and identity.

This course takes us on a journey through five moments of Latin American history and culture as represented in film, from its creation as a region imagined through the gaze of colonialism, through the development of an independent, revolutionary Third Cinema, to the present moment when globalisation is critiqued from the periphery, the periphery itself has gone global and the difference between centre and periphery no longer appears stable.

Films Studied
El norte (1983) Greg Nava, UK, USA
The Mission (1986) Roland Joffe, UK, France
Camila (1984) María Luisa Bemberg, Argentina
Tango Bar (1987) Marcos Zurinaga, Argentina, Puerto Rico 
Vámonos con Pancho Villa (1936) Fernando de Fuentes, Mexico 
Lucía (1968) Humberto Solás, Cuba 
La hora de los hornos (1968) Fernando Solanas, Octavio Getino, Argentina 
The Battle of Chile (1977, 78, 80) Patricio Guzma´n, Chile 
Fresa y chocolate / Strawberry and Chocolate (1993) Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, Juan Carlos Tabío, Cuba
Amores perros (2000) Alejandro Gonza´lez In~a´rritu, Mexico 
Central Station (1998) Walter Salles, Brazil 
Wallmapu (2004) Jeannette Paillan, Chile, Ngulumapu 
The Revolution Will Not be Televised (2003) K Bartley, O'Briain, Ireland, shot in Venezuela

For full course information see the Digital Course Outline for LATINAM 303.

Digital Course Outlines are refreshed in November for the following year. Digital Course Outlines for courses to be offered for the first time may be published slightly later.

Availability 2024

Not taught in 2024




LATINAM 303: 15 points


15 points from LATINAM 216, 301, SPANISH 202, or 30 points at Stage II in BGlobalSt courses