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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Critical Essays on Colombian Cinema and Culture

Spanish Professor Laura Chesak provided the translation for Juana Suarez's Critical Essays on Colombian Cinema and Culture: Cinembargo Colombia, which was published in August 2012. Suarez is a Latin American cinema, visual culture, and literature scholar, whose recent research focuses on the interdisciplinary study of Colombian film through historical, anthropological, and sociological perspectives.

Through her examination of Colombian films, particularly those produced as a result of the 2003 Law of Cinema, Suarez addresses the issues of pervasive violence, race and gender relations, class, and power in the nation and their portrayal in Colombian cinema.  She places her analysis in its proper political and social context, and argues for the use of this artistic medium as a means of national reflection.  Colombian cinema has historically played a minimal role in the international film market, with only a limited number receiving international awards or accolades, and Suarez considers its future possibilities in this arena.

She "undertakes to examine with critical insight the most important texts of Colombian film making. Her work is geared toward those films that have become part of a Latin American and international canon, those texts that have attracted significant critical attention and that are most likely to be used in courses on Latin American film or in courses in which Latin American film is part of a larger thematic or modular focus. Focusing on key texts, Suarez examines them in interpretive depth, with full attention to theoretical issues they raise in filmmaking and in cultural studies. Her coverage is a judicious balance between historical considerations and actual textual analyses, between a discussion of questions relevant to the film industry in Colombia and the cultural contexts of specific texts." David William Foster, Regents' Professor of Spanish and Women and Gender Studies, Arizona State University

"Dense but fascination reading, this [is] a book for specialists in film studies, Latin American studies, and cultural studies.  Suarez writes with solid theoretical grounding regarding both feature films and documentaries by Colombian cineasts.  Summing Up: Highly recommended."  CHOICE

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