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The cinema of Lucrecia Martel$
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Deborah Martin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719090349

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719090349.001.0001

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La mujer sin cabeza: haunting and community

La mujer sin cabeza: haunting and community

Chapter:
(p.80) 3 La mujer sin cabeza: haunting and community
Source:
The cinema of Lucrecia Martel
Author(s):

Deborah Martin

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719090349.003.0004

Chapter 3 deals with La mujer sin cabeza,which appears to allude to the Argentine dictatorship of 1976-82 and to the disappeared. The chapter proposes that this film can be understood as a form of counter-memory, that both avoids neat expositions of the past, whilst looking at its repetitions in the present. Drawing on Derrida, the chapter shows how the presence of spectres in La mujer sin cabeza recalls the victims of both the dictatorship and of contemporary neo-liberalism. It argues that spectres consistently puncture the comfortable bourgeois world of the film through silent gazes of resistance and knowledge, gazes which constitute a demand for justice. As the chapter goes on to argue, these gazes – repressed,emanating from the film’s visual periphery – are aligned in its meaning system with challenges to the bourgeois family associated with the adolescent girl and her transgressive, cross-class, same-sex desire. Through these images, the film gestures to a different kind of community to come, to the possibility of a world beyond the stifling and exclusionary world of the family, and hints at queer and non-normative forms of kinship and collectivitywhich transgress previously established social hierarchies of class and ethnicity.

Keywords:   Counter-memory, Spectre, (Post-)dictatorship, Repressed gaze, Queer, Desire, Class

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