Recent studies of the history of Mexican cinema continue to speak of the complex relations between the state and the film industry, and the most frequently analyzed aspects tend to be the same: the reach and forms of censorship, as well as the financial dependence on the state. To broaden this perspective, I propose a classification of cinematic discourses that represent the relations between film characters and state powers. I discuss four basic modes of representation that, determined by historical and economic circumstances, reflect and mediate the attitudes and dispositions of viewers toward the political regime. For each mode, I discuss a sequence in a paradigmatic film, analyzing visual and ideological aspects in relation to the political moment at the time of the film's release. Finally, I argue that, despite the resurgence of the Mexican cinema and a more critical tone in its approach to state institutions, fictional films still rest on indirect and allegorical representations of recent events. This is due to the uncertainty of the prolonged and still-incomplete transition to institutional democracy in Mexico.
Latin American Research Review
Latin American Studies Association
Chavez, Daniel. “The Eagle and the Serpent on the Screen, the State as Spectacle in Mexican Cinema.” Latin American Research Review. 45.3 (2010): 115-141.