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In Our Own Image: An Oral History of Mexican Women Filmmakers (1988-1994) is a translation of Isabel Arredondo’s Palabra de Mujer: Historia oral de las directoras de cine mexicanas 1988-1994. The translation is by Mark Schafer, Jim Heinrich, Elissa Rashkin, and Isabel Arredondo. The book includes an introduction, six interviews with Mexican women filmmakers, an epilogue and a filmography. The goal of the book is to accurately document the entrance of women filmmakers, as a group, into Mexico’s film industry at the end of the 1980s into the 1990s. These interviews trace the emergence of a new perspective within Latin American cinema. Beginning in the 1980s, social problems are approached from the perspective of the individual; a person’s gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation become the link to the society. The filmmakers, studied in In Our Own Image as a group, give a coherent overview of the problems in Latin American society, especially Mexican society, from a gender perspective at this time. The introduction, which includes interviews with key figures of the state film industry in Mexico, describes how films are produced within this industry, the rationale for having a state film industry, and the openings it provides for women. The interviews with filmmakers Guita Schyfter, Busi Cortés, Marisa Sistach, María Novaro, Dana Rotberg and Eva López-Sánchez explain how each filmmaker made her way into the film industry. The interviews also highlight the filmmakers’ personal preoccupations and experiments in approaching social problems from a gender perspective.

In 2013 Isabel Arredondo will publish Motherhood in Mexican Cinema, 1941-1991 The Transformation of Femininity on Screen, a study drawing on the interviews published here in In Our Own Image. You can read more about Motherhood in Mexican Cinema at the publisher's website:


Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 1

Introduction 1

Film Production and The State in Mexico 21

  • Juan José Bremer: “Cultural policy should not provide answers” 25
  • Ignacio Durán: “The challenge was to steal attention from the soaps” 33
  • Alfredo Joskowicz: “The Film School Graduates” 41
  • Busi Cortés: “Free Lunch” 51

2. Guita Schyfter 61

  • “I would get so panicked . . . I had to take sedatives” 66

3. Busi Cortés 82

  • “We each must overcome something left us by our grandmother” 87

4. Marisa Sistach 118

  • “Not to have characters on the screen with whom women can identify is a real shortcoming” 124

5. María Novaro 137

  • “Master of Her Own Life” 143

6. Dana Rotberg 189

  • “I Don’t Judge Malena” 194

7. Eva López-Sánchez 217

  • “There are things I write just for myself” 221

Epilogue 247

List of Terms and Abbreviations 255

Filmography 259

Works Cited 267