Monstrosity and War Memories in Latin American Post-conflict Cinema

Maria Chiara D'Argenio

Abstract


This article explores the relationship between inhumanity, monstrosity, war and memory in two Latin American films: Días de Santiago (Peru, 2004) and La sombra del caminante (Colombia, 2004). These aesthetically innovative films tackle the internal armed conflicts that have occurred in Colombia and Peru in recent years. Focusing on former soldiers’ reintegration into civilian life, they display war as a traumatic experience that produces monstrosity, understood as a dehumanisation of the individual. By analysing the tropes of monstrosity and the haunting past, and the films’ aesthetics, I show how the performance of the monster articulates a tension between inhumanity and humanness, which can be read as a metaphor for the tension between the acts of remembering, investigating and forgetting within post-conflict societies. 


Keywords


Monstrosity, inhumanity, memory, post-conflict, war trauma, Latin American cinema, Peru, Colombia

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/cinej.2015.126

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