European co-production funds and Latin American cinema: processes of othering and bourgeois cinephilia in Claudia Llosa's La teta asustada

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Latin American women’s filmmaking has an unprecedented international profile thanks to the filmsof the Peruvian director Claudia Llosa, and the Argentine directors Lucía Puenzo and Lucrecia Martel. What is frequently unacknowledged when discussing the work of these award-winning filmmakers is the fact that all of their films are co-productions with Europe, and that programmes such as Cinéfondation, a programme aligned with the Cannes film festival, the Hubert Bals Fund,the World Cinema Fund and Ibermedia have been instrumental in their production. This articlewill tell this story through a discussion of the work of Claudia Llosa with an introduction to the issues raised by her award winning festival film Madeinusa (2006), and a focus on La teta asustada/The Milk of Sorrow (2009). It will consider the arguments of theorists who critique what they see as neo-colonial European interventions in ‘world cinema’, and those who celebrate the enabling work of the funding bodies. The chapter asks where can we place the cultural production of Llosa within these paradigms? Does the film confirm the critical positions by being subject to a process of othering for a European cinephile festival audience? Does it create its protagonist Fausta, an Andean migrant to Lima, from racist, neo-colonial stereotypes as some critics claim? Or, does it raise important questions relating to class and ethnic divisions within contemporary Peruvian society? The article ends with a discussion of how Llosa’s second film, that presents the urban poor and the colonial class from a bourgeois point of view, compares with the films of Lucrecia Martel and Lucía Puenzo which provide a bourgeois point of view on the bourgeoisie itself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-99
Number of pages12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015


  • European film Co-productions
  • Claudia LLosa
  • Latin American Cinema


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