The chapters in this book show the important role that political documentary cinema has played in Latin America since the 1950s. Political documentary cinema in Latin America has a long history of tracing social injustice and suffering, depicting political unrest, intervening in periods of crisis and upheaval, and reflecting upon questions about ideology, cultural identity, genocide and traumatic memory. This collection bears witness to the region's film culture's diversity, discussing documentaries about workers' strikes, riots, and military coups against elected governments; crime, poverty, homelessness, prostitution, children's work, and violence against women; urban development, progress, (under)development, capitalism, and neoliberalism; exile, diaspora and border cultures; trauma and (post)memory. The chapters focus on documentaries made in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Mexico, and Venezuela, as well as on the work of Latino and diasporic Latin American political documentarians. The contributors to the anthology reflect the cultural and linguistic diversity of current Latin American film scholarship, with some writing in Spanish and Portuguese from Argentina and Brazil (with their original works especially translated), and others writing in English from Australia, Europe, and the USA.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Social Identities.