Journal of Romance Studies

‘Welcome to Tijuana …’: space, place and identity in María Novaro’s El jardín del Edén

Journal of Romance Studies (2006), 6, (3), 103–116.

Abstract

This article investigates the representation of space, place and identity as explored in María Novaro’s El jardín del Edén [The Garden of Eden] (1994). The film’s setting and development of the characters are scrutinized, and in particular the symbolic quality of the city of Tijuana is the central focus. I show how the film explores the effects of the U.S.-Mexico border and the border zone on the construction of identity, and indeed how notions of space and place are construed through the imaginary projections of the people who inhabit and cross through this area. Within my examination I address some recent developments in border studies and evaluate their significance for a reading of the spatial properties demarcated by the setting of the film. I consider theoretical concepts in the geographical field of spatiality and observe the construction of Edward Soja’s notion of Thirdspace alongside Michel Foucault’s concept of heterotopias as possible applications to a reading of Tijuana’s spatial properties. Ultimately this analysis identifies how the discourse of the borderlands is being reshaped on the screen as captured on camera in El jardín del Edén.

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Author details

Haddu, Miriam