Embracing the other: the feminization of Spanish ‘immigration cinema’ | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1478-0488
  • E-ISSN: 2040-0608


This article analyses the recent phenomenon of female immigration to Spain as represented in the film features (1999) by Icíar Bollaín and (2002) by Chus Gutiérrez, and the documentary (2003) by Helena Taberna. It focuses on the way these films, through the election of three different filmic genres - comedy, melodrama and ethnographic documentary - undo negative assumptions about female migration and avoid sexualization of their immigrant characters. Bollaín's film problematizes the traditional function of the family as a metaphor of the nation and its position in the face of otherness, and makes it the potential centre point for interracial negotiation. Taberna's film emphasizes the nuclear role that domesticity plays in the life of female immigrants and in the creation and preservation of diasporas; and Gutiérrez's film presents the dialogue with Spain's own migratory past as the only possible alternative to approaching the phenomenon of immigration and the racist reactions it provokes.


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