Madness and migration: Broken geographies in Peruvian cinema

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    1 Scopus citations


    In the last four decades, geographic displacements have emerged as a recurrent theme in Peruvian cinema. Through a close examination of Grupo Chaski’s Gregorio (1984) and Juliana (1989), and Claudia Llosa’s Madeinusa (2006) and La Teta asustada (2009), this article discusses two distinctive film geographies. A comparison of radically different systems of spatial organization among these films suggests that their distinct images can be understood as two visual and ideological approaches to representing social margins. While Chaski’s productions contest old social divides by producing horizontal geographies, wherein the viewer can see the migrant’s interactions within a relatively balanced and homogenous space, Claudia Llosa’s filmmaking practices illustrate long-standing racial differences through the construction of visually vertical geographies inhabited by mad and ill migrants. Both projects represent two different strands in contemporary Peruvian cinema: the films produced under the 1972 cinema law and those produced under the 1993 neoliberal law, which epitomize fracture zones that I call broken geographies. The transition from horizontal to vertical geographies demonstrates deep historical fractures that accompany socio-economic changes affecting filmmaking practices in Peru during the 1980s and 2000s.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)759-785
    Number of pages27
    JournalRevista de Estudios Hispanicos
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Oct 2018


    • Cinema law
    • Migration
    • Neoliberalism
    • Peruvian film
    • Race

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Cultural Studies
    • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
    • Literature and Literary Theory


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