Journal of Romance Studies

‘Domestic Films’

Home and cultural memory in Tiziana Panizza’s trilogy of film letters

Journal of Romance Studies (2018), 18, (2), 227–250.

Abstract

This article explores the construction of deterritorialized intimate spaces and the materialities of cultural memory in Tiziana Panizza’s trilogy of experimental documentary films, Dear Nonna: A Film Letter (2004), Remitente: Una carta visual [‘Sender, a Visual Letter’] (2008), and Al final: La última carta [‘In the End: The Last Letter’] (2012). It suggests that these first-person, epistolary films are forms of auto-ethnography that transcend individual experience by interweaving cultural and political imaginaries. The Chilean film-maker’s filmic letters are made of both found footage and personal images in Super 8, capturing everyday experiences embodied in domestic objects, and the author’s diverse, transnational ‘homes’. The article argues that these films are an emotional archive whose ‘domestic’ mode of production repositions the possibilities of home movies for observation and cultural expression. Their impressionistic gaze reflects how the intimate production of the self is bound to deterritorialized and nomadic conceptions of home and memory, blurring the boundaries of the public and private spheres in the contemporary Chilean context.

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Author details

Peirano, María Paz

Peirano, María Paz