The Convergence of Past and Present Revolutionary His & Herstories in Subcomandante Marcos- La verdadera leyenda (1995) Produced by Carmen Castillo & Tessa Brisac

  • Emily Elizabeth Frankel UC Davis


This article explores the reconstitution of social identity for former MIR militant (El Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria) and victim-survivor of Chile’s military regime, Carmen Castillo.  Although many of Castillo’s later productions center on her personal life story, El Subcomandante Marcos- La verdadera leyenda (1995), one of Castillo’s earlier works - filmed ten months after the Zapatista uprising - is as much about armed-resistance in Chiapas, as it is about Castillo’s remaking of the self as filmmaker on screen. In this paper, I situate Castillo’s act of remembrance and ‘re-cognition’ of her own life-story, as the working onto instead of the “working into” or “working through” of traumatic material in which she re-signifies important dates, times, locations and political actors associated with her own story in an alternate space of resistance. Even though Castillo never discloses her identity to viewers, for those familiar with her work, it is apparent that she re-interprets and encodes acts of remembrance and re-cognition of her past into her narration of the Zapatista uprising. More importantly, Castillo’s work films triumph onto the screen, at a time when leftist movements had been met with defeat, and countries throughout Latin America were beginning to unearth the overwhelming number of human rights abuses that had taken place during the Cold War period. 

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