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Maria Luisa Bemberg, who died in 1995, is one of Latin America's most popular film-makers. The only woman director in the region to have achieved consistent international success, she is all the more remarkable for having made her first feature at the age of fifty-eight. Born into a traditional, aristocratic Argentine family, her late-blossoming career focused above all on women's issues. The six features she made between 1980 and 1993 all have female leads who seek to transgress limits: from Camila O'Gorman, executed in the nineteenth century for her love of a Catholic priest, to the remarkable nun Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Mexico's foremost colonial poet and intellectual, whose enquiring mind was a threat to the discipline of the Church. Bemberg was, as in the title of her second film, senora de nadie, nobody's woman, someone who found her own way in a national film industry dominated by men, and who brought a new way of seeing, a distinctive visual style, to international film-making. This is the first major study of Maria Luisa Bemberg's work. It contains, uniquely, the views of those who worked with her--her producer, cinematographer, script writer, and actors--along with her own comments about the film industry and her work in it. In addition a range of Argentine, British and North American scholars offer readings of each of her films and assess her contribution to contemporary international cinema.
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