For his debut column, new FQ contributing editor Manuel Betancourt examines three recent Mexican films—Las niñas bien (The Good Girls, Alejandra Márquez Abella, 2018), Esto no es Berlín (This Is Not Berlin, Hari Sama, 2019), and Museo (Alonso Ruiz Palacios, 2018)—that trace the changing social and economic forces that fractured Mexico during the 1980s. Focusing on characters and stories that are seldom at the heart of historical chronicles, these narratives anchor revisionist approaches that lead audiences to the margins: to take women's experiences seriously, to find value in queer radical thinking, and to question colonial discourse, all the while pushing back against any kind of monolithic understanding of Mexican state discourse.
Cineando: Looking Back, Looking Askew: 1980s Mexico in Las niñas bien, Esto no es Berlín, Museo
Manuel Betancourt is a film critic and a cultural writer. He is the film columnist at Electric Literature and a regular contributor to Remezcla. His academic work on queer film fandom has appeared in Genre and GLQ, while his cultural criticism has been featured in Film Comment, The Atlantic, NPR, Pacific Standard, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among others. He is one of the writers of the Eisner Award-nominated graphic novel The Cardboard Kingdom (Knopf, 2018) and the author of Judy at Carnegie Hall (Bloomsbury, 2020), a 33 1/3 book on the 1961 Grammy award-winning double album. www.mbetancourt.com
Manuel Betancourt; Cineando: Looking Back, Looking Askew: 1980s Mexico in Las niñas bien, Esto no es Berlín, Museo. Film Quarterly 1 December 2019; 73 (2): 57–61. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fq.2019.73.2.57
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