BAFTSS Conference 2016 – paper

BAFTSS Conference 2016 Reading 14-16 April: Trans/media: Trans/national Screen

I will be presenting a paper on the Thursday 14th at 2:15pm!

Stereotyping the Immigrant and Victimization in Two Spanish Films: La venta del paraíso (2012) and Evelyn (2012)

This paper will look at the portrayal of the immigrant in two recent Spanish films, focusing questions of gendering and victimization. First, it will briefly engage with a summary of previous research on the representation of the immigrant in Spanish film, especially work by Santaolalla (2005), Castiello (2005), Ballesteros (2006, 2015) and Deveny (2012). The presentation will consider the films La venta del paraíso (Emilio Ruiz Barrachina, 2012) and Evelyn (Isabel de Ocampo, 2012) and explore through this and other examples the extent to which the immigrant is often victimised on screen and denied agency in his or her own journey of rescue.

These films have been chosen because they were released on the same year and their plotlines have a similar starting point, with both films telling the story of Latin American female characters who arrive in Spain after being deceived by (or under the instructions of) Spanish people. The films’ style and narrative arc after this common starting point, however, could not be more different: whilst Barrachina creates a fairy tale, De Ocampo constructs a tragic drama with hopeless ending. The framing of the first film as a fairy tale, I will argue, allows for a context in which the discourse of the victim can be destroyed and the immigrant can be given agency to act successfully in his or her quest, although with limitations. Finally, and to conclude, the paper will ponder the potential effect that this “victim discourse” might have in creating stereotypes.


UPDATE 20/04: I think it went well but a bit overambitious! I probably should have focussed on one film, I had to rush a bit through it 😦


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