This article analyzes the symbolic importance of food in Pedro Almodóvar's film What Have I Done to Deserve This!! (¿Qué he hecho yo para merecer esto!!, 1984) vis-à-vis the notorious icon, la madre maruja (the Spanish housewife and mother). It argues that food is rhetorically invoked in Almodóvar's film to organize cultural politics around gender in Spain after the almost forty-year dictatorship of Francisco Franco. What Have I Done is considered by many to be Almodóvar's best work and it is also regarded as an indispensable film, not only within his filmography but in the history of Spanish cinema. The film offers a radical departure from mainstream cinematographic images of women and food. Examining the film's use of food provides an invaluable source for the study of social conflicts and anxieties around gender, inherited from a troubled past.
Rebelling Woman: Culinary Crime in Pedro Almodóvar's ¿Qué he hecho yo para merecer esto!!
Rebeca Maseda is Associate Professor of Spanish in the Department of Languages at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She is the author of multiple articles on gender and cinema, female pornography, film and schizophrenia in Medem's Sex and Lucía, and the book Essay on Contradiction: Virginia Woolf on Screen (Ed. Universitat D´Alacant, Spain). She has published several articles on the changing portrayal of war-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in American cinema and on female trauma in European and Hispanic cinemas. She is co-editor of the book Gender and Violence In Spanish Culture: From Vulnerability to Accountability.
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Rebeca Maseda; Rebelling Woman: Culinary Crime in Pedro Almodóvar's ¿Qué he hecho yo para merecer esto!!. Gastronomica 1 February 2018; 18 (1): 55–65. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2018.18.1.55
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