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City of Fury: urban violence, dystopia and anti-Utopia  in nuevo orden and era uma vez Brasília

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-03, 08:38 authored by Mariano PazMariano Paz

In the twenty-first century Latin America has become the most urbanized region on the planet and, at the same time, the one that has the highest level of inequality. This article discusses how this tension is expressed in cinema, an eminently urban art, through two case studies: the Mexican Nuevo orden (dir. by Michel Franco, 2020) and the Brazilian film Era uma vez Brasília (dir. by Adirley Queirós, 2017). Both works are independent films that deal with issues of urban violence and authoritarianism through a distinct style that combines the techniques of realist representation with fictional elements borrowed from dystopian and science fiction genres. While the two show a preoccupation with the economic and racialized inequality that characterizes urban space in the capital cities of Mexico and Brazil, they ultimately evoke two modes of utopian discourse. Whereas the first film can be considered anti-utopian, criticizing the impulse to seek social change, the second one, though pessimistic, retains a utopian call for political action. 



Forum for Modern Language Studies 59(1), pp. 89-106


Oxford University Press

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  • School of Modern Languages and Applied Linguistics

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