Through "Their" eyes: Internal and external focalizing agents in the representation of children and violence in Iberian and Latin American film

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Socially motivated filmmaking involving issues of children and violence often oscillates uneasily between two opposing tendencies: the committed and the exploitative film. As Owain Jones claims, the depiction of violence by and against children is in itself a powerful and significant theme “because of the way society considers children as natural and vulnerable, the violence that they, and all, are exposed to is more visible” (201–2). One way in which films about children and youth violence might engage viewers politically and avoid the exploitative element is by bringing the adult spectator’s perception closer to the child’s subjective experience and worldview through the use of inner focalization. The focus of this essay shall be on the children, the violence directed against them or committed by them, and how the degree of voice and focalization they are allowed by the filmic style might either activate the audience’s deepest fears or elicit sympathy and understanding, perhaps even empathy.1 To explore these concerns I will examine two very different films that depict the lives of marginalized urban children and youth: Rodrigo D: No futuro2 (Víctor Gaviria 1990) from Colombia and El Bola (Achero Mañas 2000) from Spain.3
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRepresenting History, Class, and Gender in Spain and Latin America
Subtitle of host publicationChildren and Adolescents in Film
EditorsCarolina Rocha, Georgia Seminet
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages151-169
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781137030870
ISBN (Print)9781137030863
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • youth violence
  • child character
  • closed door
  • internal focalization
  • external focalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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