A Feminist Approach to the Cinemas of Portugal and Spain
Ed. by Elena Cordero Hoyo and Begoña Soto Vázquez.
Bristol: Intellect Books, 2020.
Focusing on Portuguese and Spanish cinema, this collection brings together research about women and their status in relation to Iberian filmic culture. The volume contributes to ongoing debates about the position of women in the cinemas of Portugal and Spain from interdisciplinary and feminist perspectives as well as new accounts of film history. It also aims to promote comparisons between Iberian cinemas and visual culture, a topic that is almost unexplored in academia, despite the similar histories of the two countries, particularly throughout the twentieth century.
Though cinema arrived in Spain and Portugal at the end of the nineteenth century, national and industrial problems as well as the dictatorships of Salazar and Caetano (in Portugal) and Franco (in Spain) meant Iberian cinemas were isolated from European cultural trends. Strict censorship in both countries limited the themes and artistic practices adopted, while a specific cinematographic language, in many cases full of metaphors and symbolism, sought alternatives to the imposed official discourse and preconceived definitions of supposed national identities. By contrast, the arrival of democracy from the 1970s onwards widened not just the panorama of film production and criticism, but also opened the film industry to women’s participation in areas historically assigned to men.