Revista Latina

Referees' reports - 2010


The article clearly establishes the research questions, which are answered throughout the text. It also presents the methodology used, which is consistent with the object of study.

It develops a broad context to describe the Colombian film production in terms of themes, genres, tendencies and forms of storytelling. It makes an interesting outline of the presence of the conflict in Colombian cinema. Each analysed aspect is underpinned with a presentation and examples. This contributes to the relevance and topicality of the article and the research that originated it.
The text presents the methodological approach used to develop the research, which is coherent with the theme under study and the characteristics of the selected sample. The article clearly presents the aspects to be analysed in the films (through a matrix of analysis) which, in turn, aim to answer the research questions.

The writing style of the article is clear and fluid, and complies with the parameters set for the citation of sources. It uses a bibliography that is appropriate to the subject matter and also has the added value of including interviews to Colombian cinema screenwriters and directors (parts of which are included in the body of the article), some of whom are directly linked to the studied films.

The conclusions include the aspects of the cinematic narrative announced in the introduction, in relation to the way the subject of the armed conflict is addressed in Colombian cinema.

In short, this article deserves to be published since it synthesises an analysis that is serious, well documented, and has clear research criteria. Moreover, its results are rightly presented with fluid writing and examples that help understanding the analysis, and its methodological aspects can be used in future research on cinema in Latin America, or elsewhere, on different subjects. In other words, the article can contribute to the development of studies about the stories and realities presented by cinema.-- Monica Eliana Garcia-Gil, M.A. - Researcher and Professor of audiovisual media at the Faculty of Social Communication for Peace, Santo Tomás University, Bogotá, Colombia.


Reports on the article:

The article presents an original and exhaustive analysis of the representation in Colombian cinema of its armed conflict. First, the theoretical corpus outlines some of the concepts and authors which support the structuralist and narrative-based methodology. The corpus of study and the selection criteria are rigorously defined, which results in a focused and concrete sample of 14 films produced between 1964 and 2004.

The analyses combined qualitative and quantitative methodologies (based on a matrix of criteria), which are used to reach conclusions on the portrayal of the actors involved in the conflict, on the spatiotemporal dimensions, and on the particularities of the narrative of the national cinema in relation to the armed conflict.

Finally, everything is framed within the context of contemporary Colombian cinema, which is in a proliferating stage thanks to the new institutional and economic-conditions. -- Professor Ana Sedeño-Valdellós, Ph.D. - Faculty of Communication Sciences - University of Málaga (Spain).

I consider it is important to publish this analysis of Colombia’s cinematographic works since the subject addressed, the cited bibliography and the conducted interviews reflect a methodological and careful study.
At certain times the article questions and makes us question certain preconceptions.

The article presents a very valuable description of the real actors reflected in cinema which is compared against their portrayal in the news programmes and the general press. It is clear that the work reflects the analysis of the viewpoints that influence the conception of the Colombian universe. Especially in the three aspects that make the Colombia cinema a universal product, the constant feature of violence-conflict-drug trafficking that unsurprisingly although it changes in reality, the international cinema does not seem to want to change it and rather insists on “vendible” concepts.

The importance of the study, then, is its analysis. It is a necessary and essential work to understand the characters and the thought of the filmmakers. The statistical data throw light on how cinema is devoted to the subjects related to violence, even though they are not as important as other topics in terms of quantity. This allows us to deduce that the thematic proximity between the films and the news is stronger than the proximity between the filmmakers and the topics.

The text contains sufficient information for the theoretical analysis of the audiovisual narrative, which is based in the right bibliography.-- Professor Alfredo Caminos, M.A.
National University of Córdoba (Argentina)

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