Ironía y poscolonialidad en El techo de la ballena de Raúl Ruiz


  • Ignacio López-Vicuña University of Vermont


Raúl Ruiz; Chilean Cinema; Postcolonialism


Raúl Ruiz (1941-2011), an exiled Chilean filmmaker working in Europe, created in the film On Top of the Whale (1982) a postcolonial parody that is also a Borgesian experiment in verbal and filmic languages. A European anthropologist interviews the last survivors of the Yaghan people of Patagonia (victims of colonial genocide), only to be drawn into a philosophical game of linguistic meanings and postcolonial mirroring that decenters hegemonic understandings of cultural identity. Ruiz creates a space of play that erases borders, celebrates multilingualism, questions hierarchies of knowledge, and invites reflection on cultural adaptability. The article discusses the historical background with which Ruiz establishes a dialogue, arguing that the film’s playful imagery alludes to histories of colonialism and exposes the colonial roots of Chile’s modernity.



How to Cite

López-Vicuña, I. (2020). Ironía y poscolonialidad en El techo de la ballena de Raúl Ruiz. A Contracorriente: Una Revista De Estudios Latinoamericanos, 17(2), 146–164. Retrieved from



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