Milton Fernando Gonzalez Rodriguez

Winner Dissertation Prize 2020

Histrionic Indigeneity: ethnotypes in Latin American cinema.

Supervisor: Prof. dr. Michiel Baud
Co-supervisor: Dr. Arij Ouweneel
Nomination: University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Humanities

Report by the selection committee

The focus of this thesis is the effect of ethnic characterization in the theatrical (meta) reality of Latin American film. How does this typecasting take place? What does it consist of and where does it come from, and in what forms has it been seen in Latin American cinema over the past twenty years? The author analyzed an impressive 65 films with the help of various disciplines such as imagology, anthropology, linguistics, history and film studies. 

In the opinion of the jury, the author handles this large corpus elegantly and with much empirical insight. This thesis offers a rich set of insights into how filmic and linguistic techniques are used in constructing ‘indigenous’ archetypes. Matters of gender, region, class and language are skilfully embedded into the work. Alfonso Cuarón’s brilliant film Roma from 2018 forms the culmination of the research as a liminal film that offers new perspectives on ‘histrionic indigenousness’. An impressive book with important international scope, according to the jury.