In recent years, Latin American women filmmakers have achievedunprecedented prominence in mainstream cinema such as Lucrecia Martel, ClaudiaLlosa and Lucia Puenzo. Often times, Latin American women filmmakers work is much less celebrated, however womenworking in production and directing have realised the importance of thepolitical impact that women film makers now have. This has created a shift fromthe public and overt politics, to a politics of the personal and private oftenfound through their work (Martin, Shaw: 2017). B. Ruby Rich (1997) acknowledgesthe close ties between politics and aesthetics and points to how women’sfilmmaking takes up the aesthetic challenge. Nuala Finnegan examines the notionof ‘ exhaustion of difference’ (Moireiras: 2001) which argues that there is afatigue surrounding the critical perspectives on ethnic, class, culture andgeneric differences.
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Moireiras (2001) goes on to discuss the ‘ exhaustion’ withthe gender question more specifically with women. It has become imperative toraise explicit feminist questions in relation to cultural production in LatinAmerica. Despite the recent boom and prominence in Latin cinema by women and awider circulation of their films it can be noted that there is still a tendencyvisible in much critical writing on the subject of Latin American cinema thatit has erased it systematically as a separate and distinct category.
Much ofthe critical theory and analysis being generated under the rubrics of LatinAmerican cinema is notable for its evasiveness with regard to the question ofthe ‘ woman’s questions’ and gender (Finnegan, 1980). Finnegan argues that much of the climate of LatinAmerican cultural studies is not conducive to feminist analysis. Latin Americancinema is closely linked to the social and political context of Latin America. Many of women filmmakers in Latin America come from more privileged backgroundsand have some European origin and are all to some extent members of theintellectual elite, they have all encountered both resistance and hostility andstruggling in some cases to have much of their films produced or distributed(Finnegan, 1980). For example, Claudia LLosa is the niece of Peruvian filmdirector and play writer Mario Vargas Llosa and received a communicationsdegree from the University of Lima which placed her in the intellectual elitecircle as well as exposed her to more opportunities than the average LatinAmerican women.
However, as a woman film director in Latin America, she hasalso experienced challenges within the social and cinematic context. This hasgiven women filmmakers a platform to highlight the persistence of social andcultural divisions within Latin America. Women filmmakers have used this platform toalso narrate through visuals which reinscribe women in the same way as atestimonio. These films do not always have to take the form of the linearnarratives in style but can also be multi-layered, encouraging a non-monolithicperception of women and history.