Latin Women in Film

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Filmmaking, at its core, is a storytelling medium. Whether it is fiction, non-fiction, linear, non-linear, feature or documentary film, the goal with film is to tell a compelling story of an intriguing subject. That subject is often a person, event, place, or place in time. The amazing thing about the film medium, if executed properly, is that it can tell us a story about someone we think we have known through stories, written works, and history books and make us realize we may have not really known the person at all.

What is even more impressive is it can tell us a story of someone we knew absolutely nothing about and make that much more of an impact in our knowledge. This is the case for films that are made about Latin Women throughout history that are either highly known, or barely known by the general population and/or history scholars. Films such as Lucia (1968), Camila (1984), and Frida (2002) are motion pictures that tell the stories of revolutionary Latin Women and Important historical events through women’s perspectives from various regions in Latin America that include Mexico City, Argentina, and Cuba.

Some of these stories are well known, or at least are thought to be well known, such as Frida. However, the stories of Camila O’Gorman and the historical situations analyzed in Lucia are less known throughout popular history, especially in the United States and these film’s goals are to broaden the audience to hear and know these important stories of these revolutionaries. The non-fiction narratives of Camila O’Gorman and Frida Kahlo, along with the realistic fiction narratives of all three Lucias show examples of women who challenged societal norms of all sorts and revolutionized their times because of it. This is shown through the film medium by their respective motion pictures.

Lucia (1968) is a motion picture written and directed for the screen by Humberto Solás. Solás, a filmmaker from Havana, Cuba, has directing credits for popular Cuban films such as, La Huida (1958), and Cantata de Chile (1975) . Lucia aims to highlight different periods in Cuban History over 6 decades in order to show the gradual change of women in society through the times in the perspective of three different women, all named Lucia, in their respective period in time.

The first part of the film depicts who we know as the first Lucia or Lucia I, portrayed by Cuban actress Raquel Revuelta, set in the beginning of La Guerra de Independencia Cubana or the Cuban War of Independence; 1895. This segment of the film shows Lucia, a member of the upper class, who’s mind revolves around the war, specifically the rebel army because her brother is a soldier in that army. She worries for him, of course. Like most women in the late 19th century, Lucy’s mind also revolves around who and when she will marry. Because of her brother, her feelings towards the war and politics are negative.

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