Two iconic modern houses of the late forties and early fifties, by Gio Ponti and Jean Prouvé, are the subjects of the films El Cerrito by Juan Andrés Bello and Maison Tropicale by Manthia Diawara. Their comparison provides the opportunity to examine how ideas and objects are reinterpreted as they travel from one cultural context to another and the ways in which the supposed universality and transportability of European modernism was adapted to the realities of the tropics.

El Cerrito is the historical re-creation of an architectural journey that bridges cultural boundaries between Europe and Latin America in the period after World War II. Based on the manuscript of the same title by Hannia Gómez (published in 2009), Juan Andrés Bello's film takes a biographical approach to the story of the Villa Planchart (1953–57) also known as El Cerrito for its...

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