Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

Senescence, Alzheimer’s Dementia, and the Semi-Subjective in Ignacio Ferreras’s Film Arrugas

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies (2016), 10, (1), 21–35.

Abstract

Based on the acclaimed graphic novel of the same name, the animated feature film Arrugas (Wrinkles) (Ferreras 2011) captures the everyday lives and frustrations of elderly residents in a transitional care facility. The film’s central protagonist is the recent arrival Emilio, who has Alzheimer’s disease, but Arrugas addresses not only his blossoming friendships and newfound hardships, but also a range of characters and everyday situations that characterize the textures of senescence. Building on recent scholarship on senescence and intellectual disability in Spanish film, cultural studies of Alzheimer’s dementia, and work on interdependency within disability studies approaches more broadly, the article explores key formal cinematic aspects of the feature. In particular, the semi-subjective shot is employed in the film as a way of linking the individual experience of dementia with the social processes that inform it.

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Fraser, Benjamin