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"I am a Mother First" : Mexican women filmmakers of the 1980s and 1990s and the representation of motherhood


"I am a Mother First" : Mexican women filmmakers of the 1980s and 1990s and the representation of motherhood

Arredondo, Isabel (2009) "I am a Mother First" : Mexican women filmmakers of the 1980s and 1990s and the representation of motherhood. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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MR63267.pdf - Accepted Version


This thesis examines images of mothers in classical and contemporary Mexican cinema. The purpose is to contrast the portrayals of mothers in melodramas produced during the 'Golden Age' of Mexican cinema (1940s to 1950s), a model continued until the 1970s, and in films made by the so-called 'third-wave' generation of Mexican women filmmakers (directors who made their first feature films after 1985). The main argument is that the films directed by third-wave directors propound a non-narcissistic type of feminine idealization and propose women characters who see themselves as individuals. This thesis uses psychoanalytic theory and particularly the psychoanalytic discussions of motherhood developed within feminist theory and feminist approaches to film to examine the representation of motherhood. Kaja Silverman's notion of narcissistic idealization and Kelly Oliver's analysis of mothers' depression are fundamental to differentiate classical and third-wave representations of mothers in Mexican cinema, especially from the point of view of Mexican women filmmakers who value their own identity as mothers. The Introduction lays out the thesis' form and focus. Chapter One contextualizes the professional and ideological position of Mexican women filmmakers of the new generation. Chapter Two examines representations of mothers in classical Mexican melodramas. Chapter Three concentrates on discussing representations of mothers in films directed by third-wave filmmakers. The main argument is that third-wave Mexican women filmmakers, while moving away from the maternal ideals predominant in classical Mexican films, do not discard feminine idealization altogether. Instead, they view idealization as a strategy of identity formation set outside of the dichotomy Virgin/Whore which informs traditional representations of motherhood in Mexican cinema.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Arredondo, Isabel
Pagination:v, 259 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Thesis Supervisor(s):Maule, Rosanna
ID Code:976406
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:25
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:42
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