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date: 20 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article focuses on cinematic representations of the Latinx experience of the B/borderlands over the course of five distinct periods: silent cinema (1900s–1920s), commercial sound cinema (1930s–1960s), social problem films (1930s–1950s), New Latinx cinema (1970s), mainstream televisual cinema (1980s–1990s), and cinema in the digital age (2000s–present). Throughout her book Borderlands/La Frontera, Anzaldúa associates lowercase borderlands with destructive confrontations, and uppercase Borderlands with productive transformations. By this double definition, cinematic representations of the Latinx borderlands with a lowercase b have always dominated the big screen via Latinx characters who are either negative stereotypes or simply absent. But even as early as the silent period there have been attempts to represent the complex and oftentimes contradictory perspectives of the Latinx experience of the Borderlands with a capital B, where the switching of cultural, cinematic, and linguistic codes creates a new language: the language of a Borderlands cinema.

Keywords: Borderlands, Anzaldúa, cinema, Latinx, stereotypes

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