FQ's new books editor Carla Marcantonio reflects upon her experience serving as Netflix's official translator for Yalitza Aparicio, the Indigenous Mexican woman who plays the housekeeper in director Alfonso Cuarón's Roma. Marcantonio explores themes that emerged over the course of the film's promotional campaign, ranging from the expected (the film's social impact and depiction of a makeshift matriarchy) to those less discussed, such as the film's significant political context and critique of patriarchy, masculinity, and violence. In closing, she offers a counter-argument to the interpretation that Cuarón denies Cleo her agency by limiting her spoken lines, arguing that Cuarón's masterful use of cinematic language allows Cleo's voice to come through loud and clear.
Roma: Silence, Language, and the Ambiguous Power of Affect
Carla Marcantonio is Associate Professor and Chair at the department of Film, Television, and Media Studies at Loyola Marymount University. Her scholarship focuses on global/transnational cinema, genre studies, biopolitics, and the anthropocene. She is the author of Global Melodrama: Nation, Body, and History in Contemporary Film (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) and has also published various essays on the films of Pedro Almodóvar. She is the new book review editor at Film Quarterly.
- Views Icon Views
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
Carla Marcantonio; Roma: Silence, Language, and the Ambiguous Power of Affect. Film Quarterly 1 June 2019; 72 (4): 38–45. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fq.2019.72.4.38
Download citation file: