Redirecting the Gaze

Gender, Theory, and Cinema in the Third World

Edited by Diana Robin & Ira Jaffe

Subjects: Cultural Studies
Series: SUNY series, Cultural Studies in Cinema/Video
Paperback : 9780791439944, 377 pages, November 1998
Hardcover : 9780791439937, 377 pages, November 1998

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Table of contents




Diana Robin and Ira Jaffe

Chapter One, Al Cine de Las Mexicanas: Lola in the Limelight

Diane Sippl

Chapter Two Cuban Cinema: On the Threshold of Gender

Catherine Benamou

Chapter Three Making History: Julie Dash

Patricia Mellencamp

Chapter Four Reclaiming Images of Women in Films from Africa and the Black Diaspora

N. Frank Ukadike

Chapter Five In the Shadow of Race: Forging Gender in Bolivian Film and Video

Elena Feder

Chapter Six The Seen of the Crime

Karen Schwartzman

Chapter Seven Beyond the Glow of the Red Lantern; Or, What Does It Mean to Talk about Women's Cinema in China?

Hu Ying

Chapter Eight "Can the Subaltern Weep?" Mourning as Metaphor in Rudaali (The Crier)

Sumita S. Chakravarty

Chapter Nine Sacando los trapos al sol (airing dirty laundry) in Lourdes Portillo's Melodocumystery, The Devil Never Sleeps

Rosa Linda Fregoso

Chapter Ten María Luisa Bemberg's Miss Mary: Fragments of a Life and Career History

Julianne Burton-Carvajal

Selected Bibliography



Examines the work and aspirations of women filmmakers in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, as well as in marginalized communities within the United States, with particular attention to issues of gender, race, nation, and aesthetics.


Redirecting the Gaze is primarily concerned with the cinematic portrayals of women by women directors working outside corporate America and Europe. The book examines cinematic works of the 1980s and 1990s by women filmmakers from Argentina, Bolivia, China, Cuba, India, Mexico, Senegal, Tanzania, and Venezuela, as well as by independent Black American and Chicano women, most of whom are scarcely known in the United States and Europe.

At the University of New Mexico Diana Robin is Professor of Classics and Director of Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, and Ira Jaffe is Professor of Film and Head of Media Arts. Robin is the author of Filelfo in Milan: Writings, 1451–1477 and editor and translator of Collected Letters of a Renaissance Feminist, by Laura Cereta.


"This book provides a broad spectrum of essays on the phenomenon of Third Cinema, including considerations of directors and cinema in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. For anyone looking for an introduction to the theory of Third Cinema and for an overview of films in this area, this is an invaluable work. Redirecting the Gaze is a must-read for any upper-level class in oppositional cinema studies. Many of the essays include historical overviews of the national cinema of specific Third World countries in addition to consideration of a particular director's work. " — John Hazlett, University of New Orleans

"This is a stunning book. A major accomplishment; the breadth of scholarship in this essential area of cinema is comprehensive and superbly organized. It is engaging and groundbreaking. It combines a number of different approaches to exciting new material, and includes rare interviews and rigorous critical investigations. The chapter on the Bolivian cinema is, in particular, utterly new and refreshing. " — Gwendolyn Foster, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

"Redirecting the Gaze provides valuable insights into an important body of films. It emphasizes the importance of the films and their filmmakers within the specific contexts in which they were produced. By mobilizing historical, cultural, and contextual-specific approaches to women's filmmaking, it opens up space for a more inclusive theorization of feminist filmmaking and feminist film theory. " — Zuzana M. Pick, Carleton University