The politics of looking in Fernando León de Aranoa’s Princesas (2005) | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 11, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 2050-4837
  • E-ISSN: 2050-4845



Fernando León de Aranoa’s critically acclaimed film Princesas (2005) shows the friendship that forms between a Dominican and a Spanish prostitute in twenty-first century Madrid. In order to theorize alterity in contemporary Spanish culture, this essay analyses the cinematic formulation of the gaze that nationals commonly cast upon immigrants and its inverse, namely, constructions of (in)visibility. By focusing on the question of cinematic gaze, I will show that Princesas not only explores immigration in twenty-first century Spain but also attempts to reformulate the way the audience visualizes immigration by presenting the chief protagonists in their invisibility – along with the attendant vulnerability this invisibility engenders – as other characters evade, objectify or silence them. Hence, the spectator does not just view the body of an ‘other’ – as it is fragmented, exoticized or abused – but the dangerous consequences of Otherness.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): Fernando León de Aranoa; gaze; immigration; Princesas; Spain; Spanish cinema
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