FQ columnist Manuel Betancourt discusses the emphasis on history and memory in recent Latin American cinema. Taking Pablo Larraín’s No (2012), about the plebiscite that marked the end of the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet’s regime, as an ur-text, he examines the more recent films Bardo, falsa crünica de unas cuantas verdades (Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths, dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2022), Nuestra película (Our Movie, dir. Diana Bustamante, 2022), and Argentina, 1985 (Santiago Mitre, 2022). These films suggest that Latin American filmmakers are again claiming cinema as an active participant in fashioning how the region’s history is understood, both from within and abroad. Building on the metafictional conceit that to (re)write history is to (re)shape it, they highlight the “story” aspect of “history” by asking viewers to (re)examine how and what one chooses to see, to watch, to remember.
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Column| March 01 2023
The Histories We Tell: On No, Nuestra película, and Argentina, 1985
Manuel Betancourt is a Colombian-born film critic and writer. His academic work has appeared in Genre and GLQ; his criticism has been featured in Film Comment, The New York Times, and Variety among others. He is one of the writers of the graphic novel series The Cardboard Kingdom (Knopf, 2018, 2021), the author of the 33 1/3 book Judy at Carnegie Hall (Bloomsbury, 2020), and the forthcoming essay collection, The Male Gazed (Catapult). www.mbetancourt.com
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Film Quarterly (2023) 76 (3): 82–86.
Manuel Betancourt; The Histories We Tell: On No, Nuestra película, and Argentina, 1985. Film Quarterly 1 March 2023; 76 (3): 82–86. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fq.2023.76.3.82
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