Conflicting conceptions of domestic space: Shanty towns and state housing in contemporary Argentine cinema
This article analyses the ways in which two contemporary Argentine films, Villa (Ezio Massa, 2013) and Diagnóstico esperanza (César González, 2013), portray domestic space. It argues that, in different ways, they both challenge the state notion of home as a cell of a larger, normalized, social system. Villa, which is set in the shanty town Villa 21, emphasizes the dynamism and liveliness of public spaces, and refers to residents’ solidarity. In contrast, Diagnóstico esperanza is set in the social housing complex Carlos Gardel and focuses on a verbally violent single-parent household. Even though both films denounce the marginalization of the urban poor, Villa ultimately celebrates the qualities of shanty town space, while Diagnóstico esperanza complicates the relationship between people and their lived environment, radically questioning the idea of what constitutes a functional society. Thus, both films are revealed to be antithetical to the very notion of ‘home’ that the state once intended to impose, albeit in different ways.
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Citation : Massidda, A.L. (2018) Conflicting conceptions of domestic space: Shanty towns and state housing in contemporary Argentine cinema. Journal of Romance Studies, 18 (2), pp. 159–179
ISSN : 1752-2331
Research Institute : Institute of Architecture
Peer Reviewed : Yes