Modern Languages and Literatures, Department of


Date of this Version



Bartolomé, Alfonso (2019) "Clara Guillén Marín. Migrants in Contemporary Spanish Film. Routledge, 2018.," Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature: Vol. 43: Iss. 2, Article 12.


Published by New Prairie Press


The focus of this volume is immigration, currently one of the most relevant topics of Spanish society. Clara Guillén Marín investigates the reality of immigration in Spain, supporting her research with the works of Isolina Ballesteros, Isabel Santaolalla, and Daniela Flesler, in addition to others on the cutting edge of defining the “new social reality” (Guillén Marín 1). She shows the impacts of immigration and the resultant changes to aspects of the Spanish economy, society, and culture. In her research, she includes six films: three documentaries and three fictional films. These six artifacts of culture, if you will, shine a light on a reality not often seen: the world through the eyes of a migrant. They expose the difference between those who reach “consensus” (the included) and those who remain in “dissensus” (the excluded). These terms, coined by the French philosopher Jacques Rancière, are useful in understanding themes of exclusion and marginalization that are ever-present in immigration. ...

This is a compelling book, bringing us closer to the migrant experience and making us aware of the conditions of immigrants in both Spain’s public and private spheres. It is a realization of diversity through critical analyses of some of the most important theorists such Michel de Certeau, Douglas Massey, Gayatri Spivak, Hannah Arendt, Giorgio Agamben, and Jacques Rancière, among others. Through their theories, we are left more aware of the reality of migrants’ experience in Spain, a country so different from their many homelands. With Migrants in Contemporary Spanish Films, Guillén Marín shows how the identity of immigrants is fluid, how they struggle with the hegemonic structures of power, and how all these immigrants create a “disunited polysemy of voices” (110), which represent Spain at the present time.