Latin America on Film

Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Latin America on Film

  • Host University

    Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez

  • Location

    Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, Chile

  • Area of Study

    Film Studies, Latin American Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    This course is focused on the portrayal of historical, cultural and socio-political issues in Latin America. It also incorporates strongly the representation of Latin American literature on films. Latin Americans search for their identity through their art. It helps to integrate a vision of themselves and their world. This course teaches a historical, cultural as well as a cinematic approach to Latin America. This is achieved through an analysis of its literature and cinema. The
    former element is important because a great part of the films develop from novels and novellas. The selected short stories and films express characteristics common to all the subcontinent, with reference to cultural heritage, landscape, political environment, and artistic development. Through cinema, intercultural themes will be studied, considering that each Latin American country has developed a culture of its own. The approach will be multicultural including films made by artists from Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico and the United States in both English and/or Spanish.
    The Spanish versions will be subtitled. An analysis of the contrasting views will be performed. In this way we can infer how we see ourselves and how we are viewed by the American culture.

    1. To develope the ability to watch a movie from a critical perspective.
    2. To discover the filmaker's particular view toward Latin America.
    3. To analyze the cinematic language used by the filmaker in order to convey his particular vision.
    4. Being able to evaluate a movie from its theme and visual aesthetics

    Seminar-style classes. Along with watching the films, the professor will present certain themes present in them. He will seek also to generate a dialogue with the students and encourage them to keep a critical vision and to debate their ideas. The students' participation, therefore, is crucial.

    1. Latin America as a collective ideology. A Middle Earth, a hinge between the East and the West. A continent where the mythologies of the Middle Ages and Renaissance ideals occur.
    2. The kind of characters who germinate in a land like Latin America. A cultural richness that endures through folklore and popular culture
    3. Chile's search for identity through its cinema. The poet Nicanor Parra in his poem "Chile": "We believe we are a country, and truth be told we are just a landscape". How this idea is reflected in the eyes of Chilean filmakers.
    4. Latin America has worked as a white canvas for many filmakers. Each of them has work upon an image, a voice, a specific mindset, found in its cultural diversity. A spectrum of stories.

    Schedule of Topics
    1. Introduction and presentation of the course to the students. The creation of Latin America and how it is still a continent yet to be discovered. The Spanish Conquista and its collective imagery
    2. Aguirre, The Wrath of God by Werner Herzog
    3. Aguirre, The Wrath of God
    4. A new approach to the concept of ?derrota?
    5. Lope de Aguirre: the historical figure behind the legend
    6. The Mission by Roland Joffé
    7. The Mission
    Delivery of Essay 1
    8. The Word of God in the New World: the figures of the soldier and the priest
    9. Tthe Society of Jesus and the Guaraní War
    10. Fitzcarraldo by Werner Herzog
    11. Fitzcarraldo
    Delivery of Essay 2
    12. Fitzcarraldo. ?Civilization or death!?
    13. The figure of the rubber baron, ?the gentlemen of the jungle?: a tale of patriotism, civilization and blood
    14. Oral Presentation
    15. Oral Presentation
    16. El Chacal de Nahueltoro by Miguel Littin
    17. El Chacal de Nahueltoro
    18. The trial of the ?Jackal?: Justice or vengeance?
    19. The history of José del Carmen Valenzuela Torres: from murder to folk hero and saint
    20. Valparaíso mi amor by Aldo Francia
    21. Valparaíso mi amor
    Delivery of Essay 3
    22. A Valparaíso by Joris Ivens. The romantic and artistic vision versus the poor and miserable reality
    23. The New Chilean Cinema: spreading awareness to the masses through motion pictures
    24. Taxi para Tres by Orlando Lübbert
    25. Taxi para Tres
    Delivery of Essay 4
    26. Contemporary Chile: the struggle of the middle class.
    27. The casualties of the Chilean economical boom according to Lübbert
    28. Oral Presentation
    29. Oral Presentation
    30. Araya by Margot Benacerraf
    31. Araya. Discussion of the film
    32. Acidente by Cao Guimarães y Pablo Lobato
    33. Travelogue or the traveling experience through the lens of a camera
    34. Delivery of Final Exam

    - Essays, 25%
    - 2 Oral presentations, 15% each
    - Class participation and debates, 25%
    - Final exam, 20%

    1. Bordwell, David; Thompson, Kristin, Film Art: An Introduction, (6ta ed.) Editorial McGraw-Hill, New York, 2001 (1979).
    2. Cavallo, Ascanio; Díaz, Carolina, Explotados y benditos: mito y desmitificación del cine chileno de los 60s, Editorial Uqbar, Santiago, Chile, 2007.
    3. Elena, Alberto; Díaz López, Marina (ed), The Cinema of Latin America, Wallflower Press, London, 2003.
    4. Martin, Adrián, ¿Qué es el cine moderno?, Editorial Uqbar, Santiago, Chile,2008.
    5. Martin, Michael T. (ed), New Latin American Cinema, Wayne State University Press, Detroit, Michigan, 1997.
    6. Herzog, Werner, Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo, Harper Collins Publishers, New York, 2009.
    7. Pizarro, Ana, Amazonia: el río tiene voces, Fondo de Cultura Económica,Santiago, Chile, 2009.
    8. Rojas Farías, Víctor; Valparaíso, el mito y sus leyendas, Editorial Ril, Santiago, Chile, 2001.
    9. Rosenbaum, Jonathan, Guerras del cine: cómo Hollywood y los medios conspiran para limitar las películas que podemos ve, Editorial Uqbar, Santiago, Chile, 2007.
    10. Vázquez, Francisco, El Dorado. Crónica de la expedición de Pedro de Ursúa y Lope de Aguirre, Editorial Alianza, Madrid, España, 2007.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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