A study of the representation and function of violence within the films of the Argentinian screenwriter-director Pablo Trapero.
Douglas Mulliken is the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation CHR Flagship Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa.
This innovative study identifies and analyses the function of violence in the films of the Argentinian screenwriter-director Pablo Trapero. It does this by examining different understandings of the concept of violence itself with a particular emphasis placed on Slavoj iek's concept of objective violence and how it is represented on-screen in Trapero's films. Individual chapters focus on a pair of the director's films; in each case the first film analysed introduces motifs and themes which the later film then expands upon and intensifies. Part I locates violence within the context of what Althusser defines as the State Apparatus, focusing on the diverse manifestations of the State's power generally. Further, this section analyses the way in which Trapero's films demonstrate the State's manipulation of its subjects through repressive and ideological means for its own benefit. Mulliken then goes on in Part II to tighten the focus of his analysis, examining Trapero's representation of one specific ideological apparatus: the family unit. This section approaches different manifestations of the family and, using Deleuze and Guattari's theories of Oedipal and rhizomatic families, considers the ways in which the family structure itself can be used as both a means of repression and, in certain cases, a means of resistance. He contends that, through his representation of objective violence, Pablo Trapero has emerged as a distinctly political filmmaker. By focusing on several previously under-studied elements of Trapero's films this project highlights the ways in which the director's work represents present-day concerns about social inequalities and injustice in neoliberal Argentina on-screen. Finally, this work examines how Trapero combines aspects of Argentina's long tradition of political film with elements of Nuevo Cine Argentino to create a unique political voice.
Introduction o A History of Violence o A Hauntology of Violence o The Changing Nature of Political Film o Neoliberalism and Ideology o A Cyclical Career Part I: The Individual and the State · 1. Neoliberalism, Violence, and the New Argentina o 1.1 The Violence of Neoliberalism § From Objective to Subjective Violence § Masculinity in Crisis o 1.2 Mundo Grúa § The Precariat on Screen § Physical and Emotional Estrangement o 1.3 Carancho § What is Shown, What is Not § Resistance and the Middle Class § Margani v. Darín § Response to Violence · 2. Repression, Ideology, and the Manipulation of Power o 2.1 Theories of Power o 2.2 El Bonaerense § El Conurbano § La Bonaerense § Police Repressive State Apparatus § Zapa o 2.3 Elefante Blanco § Ciudad Oculta and the Catholic Church § Authority and the Legacy of Mugica § State Violence and Death Part II: Violence and the Family · 3. The Violence of the Arborescent Family o 3.1 Theories of the Family § Family and Control § Family as Source of Violence o 3.2 Familia Rodante § The Potent Symbolism of the Family § The Family as a Locus of Retention § Discipline and Rebellion o 3.3 El Clan § Adult Paranoiacs, Child Neurotics § The Violence of the Family · 4. The Rhizome as Alternative Family Model o 4.1 Rhizomes and the becoming-family § Prison: Arborescent or Rhizomatic? § The State of Exception o 4.2 Nacido y Criado § Desaparecidos § Homo Sacer and the State of Exception § Patagonia and Rhizomes o 4.3 Leonera § Prison and Prison Films § Rhizomatic Families Conclusion Appendix: Interview with Pablo Trapero