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Contested Identities in Costa RicaConstructions of the Tico in Literature and Film$
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Liz Harvey-Kattou

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781789620054

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789620054.001.0001

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Reflecting the Nation: Costa Rican Cinema in the Twenty-First Century

Reflecting the Nation: Costa Rican Cinema in the Twenty-First Century

(p.113) Chapter Three Reflecting the Nation: Costa Rican Cinema in the Twenty-First Century
Contested Identities in Costa Rica

Liz Harvey-Kattou

Liverpool University Press

This chapter argues that cinema has been the primary creative vehicle to reflect on national – tico – identity in Costa Rica in the twenty-first century, and it begins with an overview of the industry. Considering the ways in which film is uniquely positioned to challenge social norms through the creation of affective narratives and through the visibility it can offer to otherwise marginalised groups, this chapter analyses four films by key directors. Beginning with an exploration of Esteban Ramírez’s Gestación, it considers youth culture, gender, and class as non-normative spaces in the city of San José. Similarly, Jurgen Ureña’s Abrázame como antes is then discussed from the point of view of its ground-breaking portrayal of trans women in the capital. Two films shot at the geographic margins of the nation are then discussed, with the uncanny coastline the focus of Paz Fábrega’s Agua fría de mar and the marginalized Afro-Costa Rican province of Limón the focus of Patricia Velásquez’s Dos aguas.

Keywords:   Costa Rican cinema, Central American cinema, Esteban Ramírez, Jurgen Ureña, Paz Fábrega, Patricia Velásquez

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