>> Term Paper
Latino Narrative Film
For your final paper you are to write 8-10 pages on one of the following topics.
1- The 1980's saw the emergence of Latin America in mainstream cinema. Latin American as well as U.S. filmmakers saw tremendous artistic and commercial potential in the politics and history of the Americas. Romero took on the national tragedy of the war in El Salvador using the story of Archbishop Romero. The Official Story took on the issue of the disappearance of activists and their children during Argentina's "dirty war." Using Romero or Official Story as a base, examine and compare the film with another not screened in class that deals with a Latino historical figure or event. The film may have been produced in 1980's or could be contemporary. Among the films you might choose are: Missing Latino, Salvador, Innocent Voices and Machuca- films about revolution and war in Latin America. Consider how a small story can examine/illustrate a larger issue or story. Why make these films? Why tell these stories? Why do these filmmakers and/or you believe it is important to remember; to keep these stories alive?
2- In El Norte and The Official Story women occupy the key roles and form the core of the stories. These are stories of women and families caught up in a particular moment in time. Why were these films made? Why was it important to tell these stories? Why tell the stories from a woman's perspective? Compare/contrast one of these two stories to another Latino/ Latin American film about women who become empowered or come of age. Among the films to consider are: Camila, Lucia, Erendira, La Quinceañera, Maria Full of Grace, Central Station and Frida. Think about: How the director approaches the story and the roles of the women? What happens as the story evolves-are there visual clues, do the characters change? Are the points of view of these stories important-why? Is the role of politics in these films an important factor? If so, how are the political issues dealt with in the events portrayed? How do the women themselves evolve?
3- Like Water for Chocolate, and Danzon are stories about women who experience a life-changing event, a transformation. You have two options:
A- Explore one of these films in depth. Discuss the way the transformation evolves throughout the film; how the story is told. What devices does the director employ to draw in the viewer? What brings it to life? What about the use of food or music as a metaphor? Look at the performances, the language, the script and how the film is shot.
B-These films there are about strong women who are faced with tough choices. Compare the main character of one of these films to one of the others. What about the choices that they make. Are they good choices or not? Why do they make these choices? How are their lives changed? Explore the elements in the film that makes their stories ring true
Please refer to the readings for background. I also expect that you will do some original research. Look into the resources offered by the Media Resource Center and campus libraries ie. filmographies, articles, films. You must include a bibliography with at least 4 sources and make sure that you demonstrate proper attribution within the paper (footnotes, cite quotes etc.).