Revisioning The Colonial Record: La relación de Michoacán and Contemporary Mexican Indigenous Film

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This essay discusses two recent Mexican films that draw on the written and pictorial narratives represented in La relación de Michoacán, a sixteenth-century codex. This text is widely attributed to the Franciscan friar Jerónimo de Alcalá but could more accurately be described as a composite account of multiple Indigenous and Spanish authors. Eréndira ikikunari (2006) explores the moment of Spanish invasion in the region of Michoacán, portraying the varied responses of the P'urhépecha people of the area through the heroic resistance of a young woman. Eréndira is compared with a film directed by a P'urhépecha filmmaker, Auikanime: la que tiene hambre (Auikanime: The Hungry One) (2010), which, like many of Pavel Guillén Rodríguez's fiction shorts, also draws on the Relación for its inspiration. In analysing the discourses that frame and reflect the use of the codex and its aesthetic transposition to the screen, I demonstrate how the films dialogue with dominant constructions of indigeneity as experienced in post-revolutionary Mexican nationalism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-238
JournalInterventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies
Issue number2
Early online date21 Jun 2013
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2013


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