Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Modern Languages and Literatures

First Advisor

William Garcio




undocumented immigrants, film, women, patriarchy


This project explores the representation of undocumented women immigrants in Spanish cinema in the past three decades through the analysis of three films: Flores de otro mundo (1999) directed by Icíar Bollaín, and Princesas (2005) and Amador (2010), both directed by Fernando León de Aranoa. These directors are part of a third wave of Spanish film makers whose artistic motives lie in conveying pertinent commentary concerning important and controversial issues that affect contemporary Spanish society at the economic, political, and cultural levels. The intersection of immigration and gender dynamics is one of such issues that has evolved significantly since the transition to the democracy after Francisco Franco’s death in 1975, and continues to be significant and contentious within today’s political and economic arenas, especially in the context of the economic crisis that has affected Spain, as well as many other countries within the European Union, since 2007-2008. The depiction of women immigrants in these films reflects not only national discourses on immigration, but also the vulnerability of women immigrants struggling to make a place for themselves in a historically patriarchal society. Their status as both women and undocumented immigrants exposes them to higher levels of discrimination, exploitation, and gender violence further highlighting their invisibility and lack of voice within society. Each of these movies demonstrates the ways in which the evolving economic issues have molded the sentiments of both immigrants and Spanish citizens over recent years. At the same time, Bollaín and León de Aranoa shed light unto the issues and plight of female immigrants in Spain through the highly popular and wide-reaching medium of cinema.