Week 12: All About My Mother

In “The Body and Spain: Pedro Almodóvar’s All About My Mother”, Ernesto Acevedo-Munoz writes about the intersecting themes of the body and the nation. For my last essay, I actually cited an essay by Acevedo-Munoz that had to do with the film I have been writing about, Y Tu Mamá También. In that essay, Acevedo-Munoz investigates how sex and bodies reflect the unstable national identity of Mexico at the time of the film (2001), which is only two years apart from All About My Mother (1999). I find this to be a very interesting motif between these two films in the ways in which they differ and how they are similar. Both movies use motifs of bodies as a way to investigate national identity and “cultural anxiety” of a country grappling with its past and present. Almodóvar uses the “transitional” body as a way to investigate identity and symbolize the cultural transition of Spain from the era of Franco. Alfonso Cuarón’s Y Tu Mamá También uses the body of  a Spanish woman, Luisa Cortes, who holds the same name as the conquistador Cortes, as a metaphor for the history of colonialism and its influence on Mexican politics, and also uses the bodies and homoerotic desire of teenagers Julio and Tenoch to symbolize the problems with machismo and the class structure in Mexico. I find these motifs in both movies to be an interesting concept, where singular bodies interact with history and politics.

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