Title

Huaso Romance as Neoliberal Reform in Sebastián Silva's La nana

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-2014

Publication Source

Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies: Travesía

Volume

23

Issue

4

Inclusive pages

345-62

DOI

10.1080/13569325.2014.958142

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Peer Reviewed

yes

Abstract

Building on the work of recent critics, this essay asserts that the narrative of illness and recovery at the center of Sebastián Silva's film La nana (2009) can be understood as allegorically working through the contradictions between economy and culture in contemporary Chile. Diverging from these critics, however, the essay argues that the film operates its critique by mobilizing the narrative structures that characterized Chilean criollista novels, and in particular the huaso romance narrative. Far from arguing that the film represents a nationalist or folkloric take on contemporary Chile, the essay asserts that Silva reconfigures the huaso romance to construct local solutions to the potential social conflicts generated by Chile's more complete integration into the world economic system. Following this line of argument, the essay asserts that Silva's film, like its criollista antecedents, produces a reformist political project that provides the grounds from which new social bonds can be developed to heal and stabilize the neoliberal economic system. In addition to a close reading of the film, the essay considers the basic characteristics of criollismo by examining Joaquín Edwards Bello's best-selling criollista novel La chica del Crillón (1935) as well as key details in Chilean history, politics, economy and culture.

Keywords

chile-film, domestic workers, national identity, neoliberalism, national allegory, contemporary film, criollismo, Joaquín Edwards Bello, Sebastián Silva

Disciplines

Latin American Literature | Visual Studies

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