Latina/o film names the cinematic histories, practices, and institutions of U.S. Latinas/os. Stemming in particular from the 1960s civil rights movement, Chicana/o and Puerto Rican activists demanded access to the means of production to ensure self-representation, correct negative and damaging images in the media, and replace these with positive, empowering, and more authentic representations (Noriega 1992, 2000; L. Jiménez 1996). Media activists and artists saw the urgency of struggling against the ways the media stereotyped Latinas/os, arguing that access to the means of representation was critical for full political and cultural citizenship. As leading scholars Chon Noriega and Ana López state, Latina/o media “no longer marks the site of simple oppositional practice vis- à-vis Hollywood, but must be seen through the filter of a number of competing disciplines, traditions, histories” (Noriega and López 1996, ix). This is the “matrix of differential histories” (xiii) through which they argue Latina/o films should be read.

This essay may be found on page 68 of the printed volume.

Works Cited
Permanent Link to this Essay