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Cinema from the Border, Cinema as Border: Creation, Subversion, and Deconstruction of Latino Stereotypes in Border Crossing Films( file size: 240k )

Dabrowski, M. T.

Medium Type:

U.S./Mexico Border, Border Studies, Latino Sterotypes, Latino Film, Film Stereotypes

Dr. Mike Guismondi

A trajectory of movies dealing with the border migrations on the U.S./Mexico frontier starting with El Norte in 1983, with a focus on the last decade is examined in relation to how it reinforces or subverts existing Latino stereotypes. The dialectic between cinema and North American society’s treatment of Latinos is explored through the use or undermining of their images on the screen. The staging of the border crossing, border police, and Latino gender roles is examined in select movies as it is utilized to challenge expected norms. Emphasis is placed on La misma luna and The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada as both these films provide extensive subversive elements which showcase how film can be used to alter our stereotypical notions of immigrants who have been marginalized. We explore the ways in which film embraces the world that it originates from, shaping and challenging the social and cultural mosaic emerging in the U.S./Mexico border region where Latino presence is on the upswing.