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1981
Volume 19, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2050-4837
  • E-ISSN: 2050-4845

Abstract

This article examines how / (Caetano 2006) uses Gothic horror conventions, particularly the haunted house, to represent the experiences of political prisoners at a clandestine detention centre under the last Argentine dictatorship (1976–83). Though understudied until recently, the Gothic and the haunted house in Latin America have a long cultural history in which their transnational meanings have been adopted, adapted and expanded to suit local contexts, thus evoking both buried pasts and traumatic origins, such as the legacies of colonialism or dictatorial violence, as well as contemporary crises. This article demonstrates how utilizes a Gothic aesthetic to reflect political terror’s effect on space and time, representing the clandestine detention centre as haunted house in order to make legible the oft-suppressed experience of state-sponsored political terror under the Argentine dictatorship. Moreover, the film reveals the Gothic nature of the military government’s strategies to instil fear in the populace. By aiding us to understand the political terror of the past, ’s haunted house also helps its viewers contend with and memorialize its ongoing legacies.

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2022-03-01
2024-07-13
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