Precarious Bodies, Precarious Lives: Framing Disability in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Cinema

GARRETT, Victoria

Publication Date 

2019
18 pp

Alejandro González Iñárritu is a salient example of contemporary Latin American directors who portray sick or disabled bodies as a visual and affective shorthand for different forms of violence. This article explores the relationship between his signature intersecting plots that join seemingly disconnected social spheres in a shared precariousness and his portrayal of illness, injury, and disability to suggest the violence and inequality that underpin these connections. I argue that González Iñárritu’s films frequently represent injured and disabled bodies to expose invisible connections that make social injustice possible as evidence of his using film as a political or ethical intervention that might erode the way contemporary global capitalism reproduces coloniality in everyday life. At the same time, his films illustrate the pitfalls of utilizing disabled bodies to realize this critique, thus shedding light on the ethical dimensions of this tendency to link disability with a critique of violence.

 

Disability & the Global South (DGS), 2019, Vol. 6 No. 1

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