Rutgers Professor Camilla Townsend has published a piece in an unexpected place—a book about the movies! She discusses Mel Gibson’s film Apocalypto (2006) in a new book edited by Donald Stevens, Latin American History at the Movies.
More than thirty years ago, in 1989, when Stevens wasn’t long out of grad school, he published an anthology of essays on movies about Latin American history in a book entitled Based on a True Story. Towards the end of his career, he was struck by how much richer the film scene now is, and so he went back to the drawing board and solicited work by historians on films of the last generation. He did retain a few old chestnuts (like Werner Herzog’s 1972 film, Aguirre, Wrath of God) but mostly included new work. Readers will find thoughtful analyses of two films by the Argentine director Maria Luisa Bemberg (Camila—about the regime of Juan Manuel Rosas-- and I, the Worst of All—about Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz), as well as treatments of widely seen films that have been favorites in recent years: for instance--Four Days in September, Motorcycle Diaries, Roma, Romero, and También la Lluvia. Who says learning can’t be fun?!