Andean women's oppositional filmmaking
: on and off-screen practices and politics

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis (PhD)


This thesis examines the work of three women, active in the production of oppositional cinema in the Andes in the last third of the 20th century: Beatriz Palacios, María Barea and Domitila Chungara. A focus on women’s contributions is crucial for the examination of political film practices and politics in artisanal production contexts. However, to date, the privileging of auteurist and formalist approaches in Latin American political cinema scholarship —which foreground the products over the processes— has overshadowed women’s involvement and, also, the active and creative participation of indigenous and working-class subjects. To correct this gap and to restore the emancipatory and collective dimension of these cinematic practices —consistent with the decolonial principles of Latin American Third Cinema— I focus on women’s labour in production, distribution, and exhibition. To allow for the excavation of this hidden and complex scenario, I use oral histories, personal archives, and interviews—counter-sites to the domain of state archives, cinephilic journals, and auteurist scholarship. Inscribing Palacios, Barea and Chungara’s practices and politics into official history contributes not only to recover their figures but to situate the research field of Andean political cinema in a more rigorous framework of understanding.
Date of Award24 Jun 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of St Andrews
SupervisorLeshu Elizabeth Frances Torchin (Supervisor)


  • Andean cinema
  • Bolivian cinema
  • Peruvian cinema
  • Latin American women filmmakers
  • Beatriz Palacios
  • María Barea
  • Domitila Chungara
  • Jorge Sanjinés
  • Ukamau
  • Feminist film history

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