Cine en Emergencia: National Identity in Post-Dictatorial Audiovisual Production in Paraguay
AuthorRomero, Eva Karene
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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Abstract"Cine en Emergencia: National Identity in Post-dictatorial Audiovisual Production in Paraguay," is an academic study of narrative and documentary film from Paraguay. Cinematic production in Paraguay has "boomed" only with the last decade in part due to the censorship of the long-standing Stroessner regime and in part because new digital technologies have made audiovisual production more accessible. This study explores the dominance of a particular essentialized national identity in narrative and documentary film in Paraguay. This iconic protagonist and space (the campesino in the rural setting) is not the site of true Paraguayan authenticity, but rather, the product of competing national and transnational forces. Inside Paraguay, rural icons become the grounds from which to express political resistance and frustration with the status quo. Outside of Paraguay--particularly in the European power center of film festivals, funding and awards--a homogeneous and uncontested set of representations of national identity becomes the paradigm that satisfies the "first world" need to essentialize and orientalize the "third world." In the introduction I make my methodology clear, stressing that I am focusing my critical apparatus on circulating discourses regarding what it means to be a citizen of that Paraguay. I also grapple with the difficulty of dealing with a film archive that is classified as national while trying to dislodge the national frame as the paradigm for analysis and provide a problematization of the relationship between film and nation that has been so widely and uncritically accepted. In Chapter 1 I provide a historical contextualization for the relationship between film and the nation and provide important details in regards to the history of the moving image in Paraguay. In Chapter 2 I explore Hamaca Paraguaya's (2006) potential for resistance through formal subversion, historical revisionism, self-reflexivity and political denunciation. Using a double-register, in Chapter 3 I describe the transnational power structure as a palimpsest against which Paraguayan film is necessarily constructed and how this bleeds through into Hamaca as a cultural product. In Chapter 4 I analyze Frankfurt (2006) as a documentary that creates parallels between Paraguay's historical border wars and present-day global neoliberal capitalism.
Degree ProgramGraduate College