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Amores perros and racialised masculinities in contemporary Mexico

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Abstract:

This article explores the textualisation of masculinity and race in the Mexican film Amores perros. The central argument is that the film displays Mexican masculinities in both a transgressive and conventional fashion. Transgression is articulated with narratives about life in Mexico City that challenge traditional Mexican masculinities, particularly as these relate to brown masculinities. These traditional masculinities are proven obsolete and futureless. Masculinities that are more progressive are textualised through reference to symbolic elements of manliness codified through whiteness and wealth. These are deemed promising, capable of development and oriented toward the future. However, in representing brownness as obsolete and whiteness as progressive, the film reproduces conventional ideas about masculinities, which are often given value through class and race. The film lays bare race, class and gender tensions in the modern Mexican state, exposing the ways in which ideas of progress and modernity can too easily reconstitute racial and class disenfranchisement.

Keywords: Amores perros; Latin American film; Mexican film; embodiment; gender; masculinity; race

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/ncin.5.3.201_1

Affiliations: Department of Communication Studies, Southwestern University.

Publication date: November 7, 2007

More about this publication?
  • The journal aims to provide a platform for the study of new forms of cinematic practice and fresh approaches to cinemas hitherto neglected in western scholarship. It particularly welcomes scholarship that does not take existing paradigms and theoretical conceptualisations as given; rather, it anticipates submissions that are refreshing in approach and exhibit a willingness to tackle cinematic practices that are still in the process of development into something new.  
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