Out of the shadows: ‘new’ Peruvian cinema, national identity and political violence

Barrow, Sarah (2014) Out of the shadows: ‘new’ Peruvian cinema, national identity and political violence. Modern Languages Open . pp. 1-17. ISSN 1234-4321

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In May 1980, just as the Peruvian nation returned officially to democracy after
twelve years of military rule, a splinter group of the national pro-Chinese
Communist Party, Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path), broke into a polling station
in the region of Ayacucho and destroyed the ballot boxes there. This subversive
act marked the onset of two decades of violent struggle, a ‘dirty war’ that
persisted through three presidencies (Belaúnde, García, Fujimori), including
the capture of leader Abimael Guzmán in 1992, and a legacy of corruption
and repression throughout the 1990s. As Robin Kirk remarked in his introduction
to Gustavo Gorriti’s seminal text on the history of this insurrection, the
military forces were considered to be just as brutal in their retaliation: ‘The
Shining Path sowed only misery for Peruvians. In that task, it received timely
and energetic aid from the army, which tilled with matching fervour’ (xiv).
The politically-motivated violence of this period left more than 60,000 victims
dead or disappeared, and a devastated country on the verge of socio-political
and economic collapse. Very few citizens were left unscarred by the events,
and in the final report from the public enquiry established through a nationwide
Commission for Truth and Reconciliation, every Peruvian was urged to
take some responsibility for the national recovery. According to Pilar Coll
(59), the authors of that report even claimed that many in power had failed
in their duty to protect all citizens by turning a blind eye to discriminatory
excesses on all sides of the conflict.

Keywords:Peruvian cinema, JCOpen
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P303 Film studies
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Media)
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ID Code:17515
Deposited On:26 May 2015 08:48

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