Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Spanish and Hispanic Studies
Stephanie A. Mueller, Ph.D.
HIV/AIDS, VIH/sida, LGBTQ, healthcare, atención médica, Almodóvar, España, Venezuela
This thesis criticizes the progression of the HIV/AIDS pandemic from post-Franco Spain to contemporary Venezuela through the analysis of a domestic film from each country. From Spain, the comedy-drama film Todo sobre mi madre (1999) by Pedro Almodóvar is a reflection of an earlier stage of the epidemic, when the country was challenged to recreate its political and social identities. Almodóvar’s film highlights the struggles of the LGBTQ community to transgress stereotypes (not limited to HIV) and find hope in future generations to solve the lingering social inequalities. From Venezuela, the short film Positivo (2016) from De Tovar Films is a contemporary student production about the daily lives of HIV-positive youth in unstable conditions. The work contrasts the experiences of the two generations regarding both HIV and a country with an underdeveloped healthcare system and reduced personal liberties.
The two films suggest that the social change needed to correct the cycle of HIV spread (particularly in underrepresented groups) will stem from today’s youth. Although there are examples of significant medical and social progress between the events of Todo sobre mi madre and Positivo, the settings of both films are only a small representation of countries that have fallen behind in HIV education, prevention, and treatment. I argue that the “next generation” that Almodóvar believed could execute the necessary social and public health changes is the very same student group that refuses to let Venezuela’s need for improvement fade to the background.
Heiting, Grace, "Crítica social y esperanza para las próximas generaciones: Representaciones de seropositivos en Todo sobre mi madre (1999) y Positivo (2016)" (2022). Honors Theses. 2600.