Rethinking Marianismo and Machismo
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This thesis explores how certain generalized depictions that exist in both Western and Latin American world and are directed towards the Latin American society are (unintentionally) presented in Latin-American cinema. The analysis mainly focuses on the dichotomous model of Marianismo/Machismo. Although this model is applicable on a variety of Latin American cultures, it freezes the entire Latin American society in a universal framework. Within the Marianismo/Machismo model the ideal woman ought to be the powerless, nurturing mother (Mary). The macho man, on the other hand, is supposedly the one in control. Based on several scenes of the Latin American film productions CITY OF MEN and LA NANA this research examines how the abovementioned model that is introduced by Evelyn Stevens can either be contested or complemented. As both movies treat completely different contents, this analysis provides a valuable addition to the debate on overgeneralized portrayals of the Latin American culture. It shows that the characteristics of the female protagonist in LA NANA mainly strive with the features of the nurturing Mary. In CITY OF MEN, on the other hand, the male characters are more likely to be identified with the conventional macho men. Within the movie there also appears to be a clear division between rich and poor, which can be disputed. Thus, it can be argued that CITY OF MEN is subjected to stereotyped views and is considered to be a rather 'white' film production on a 'black' society. By analyzing the two Latin American film productions it should be noted that although theoretical models on other cultures can provide a relatively plausible framework, they have to be consulted thoughtfully.