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They Live: Violence, Horror and Spectres in Four Contemporary Argentine Films


In the Argentine film The Headless Woman (La mujer sin cabeza, Lucrecia Martel, 2008), the protagonist Vero is haunted by the possibility of killing someone in a hit-and-run. Although hinting at the crimes committed during the last dictatorship in Argentina, The Headless Woman refers more to a mechanism of the past that is transformed and updated within contemporary society. In this essay, Martel’s film acts a starting point in the exploration of recent Argentine films that deal with spectres from the past that pervade everyday life in the present: Clementina (Jimena Monteoliva, 2017), One Sister (Una hermana, Sofía Brockenshire and Verena Kuri, 2017) and The Returned (Los que vuelven, Laura Casabé, 2019). In a decade in which we can notice a remarkable growth of the horror genre in Argentine cinema, these films embrace several codes and characters from the horror genre to approach the Argentine reality. The author discusses how these filmmakers adopt similar aesthetic features from the horror genre to invoke and address the violence that permeates Argentine society today, with special attention devoted to ghosts, a key figure to understand an ongoing history of brutalities that usually go unresolved.

Calendario de la edición:
2 veces al año
Temas de la revista:
Library and Information Science, Book Studies, Media and Press