Cinematic landscapes of identity in Puerto Rican film at the dawn of the 21st century

Open Access
Albandoz-Carrasquillo, Roberto I
Graduate Program:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
February 28, 2011
Committee Members:
  • Deryck William Holdsworth, Dissertation Advisor
  • Deryck William Holdsworth, Committee Chair
  • Roger Michael Downs, Committee Member
  • Madhuri Shrikant Desai, Committee Member
  • Kevin J Hagopian, Committee Member
  • landscapes
  • cinema
  • geography
This work explores the cinematic landscapes of El beso que me distes (The kiss you gave me; 2000), Cayo (Cay; 2005), Casi casi (Just barely; 2006), Ladrones y mentirosos (Thieves and liars; 2006), Maldeamores (Lovesickness; 2007), Talento de barrio (Talent from the ‘hood; 2008), and Fuera de tinieblas (Out of the darkness; 2008), in order to get a full understanding of the existential position of Puerto Rican culture and identity today. Three main themes emerged from the analysis of landscapes in these films: pastoral nostalgia, colonial reality, and dystopia. This dissertation assesses how Puerto Rican films portray these themes, not only in terms of cultural traditions on the island, but also in terms of identity formation and meaning creation and in terms of international trends of landscape representation. The selection of landscapes is a decision process that even when not intended carries with it revelations that increasingly problematize the traditional discourse of the cultural identity of Puerto Ricans.