Rupture and reparation: Postmemory, the child seer and graphic violence in Infancia clandestina (Benjamín Ávila, 2012)
Although films representing violence through a child’s eyes have become increasingly commonplace in Latin American cinema of the last three decades, this article proposes that Bejamín Ávila’s 2012 Infancia clandestina provides an innovative approach. The film emphasizes ruptures – aesthetic, thematic and spectatorial – as well as gestures towards their repair in an attempt to represent the child’s perspective and engage the viewer in approaching the nation’s violent past. These forms of rupture and reparation, along with oscillations between identification with and distance from the protagonist’s perspective, draw attention not only to the complexities of representing the child’s subjective viewpoint but also of representing the violence of state repression. After examining the film’s treatment of postmemorial generational rupture, the article explores the mechanisms by which the film aligns the viewer with the perspective of its child protagonist while refusing complete identification with his subject position. Finally, it demonstrates how the child’s perspective of violence is cast as unique – underscoring his difference and questioning the possibility of representing ‘realistically’ the violence of the Dirty War years.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Brown University
Publication date: September 1, 2015
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- In 2013, Studies in Hispanic Cinemas, is changing its name to Studies in Spanish & Latin American Cinemas to reflect more accurately its content, which is dedicated to the study of Spanish-speaking and Latin American cinemas, including the cinemas of Spain and Spanish-speaking South, Central and North America including the Caribbean, as well as Brazil.
Our target readership includes students, teachers and scholars. The journal is written in English to maximize the opportunities for contact between academic disciplines such as Media, Film Studies, Latin American and Post-colonial Studies, as well as Hispanic Studies, thereby encouraging an inter-cultural and inter-disciplinary focus.
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