Milton Fernando Gonzalez Rodriguez

Winner Research 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 main focus of this thesis is the effect of ethnic characterization in the theatrical (meta) reality of Latin American film. How do those type castings take place? What do they consist of and where do they come from, and in what variants have they been seen in Latin American cinema over the past twenty years? An impressive 65 films are analyzed with the help of various disciplines such as imagology, anthropology, linguistics, history and film studies. 

The jury finds that 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 point of the research as a liminal film that offers new perspectives on ‘histrionic indigenousness’. An impressive book with an important international scope, according to the jury.