October 25: Haunting, Witchcraft, and Mexican Womanhood in Cervera’s The Bone Woman (2022)

The Horror of Motherhood: Haunting, Witchcraft, and Mexican Womanhood in Michelle Garza Cervera’s Huesera/The Bone Woman (2022)
Guest speaker: Enrique Ajuria Ibarra
25 Oct. 2023 at 4:00pm

Via Lifesize: https://stream.lifesizecloud.com/extension/17370315/b29ea4b4-4cef-4c0a-a7e2-4e0538e715c6
ExperienceBU Link: https://experiencebu.brocku.ca/event/243346

Abstract: Michelle Garza Cervera’s debut Mexican horror film Huesera/The Bone Woman (2022) is a chilling portrayal about the social and cultural expectations of motherhood. When Valeria agrees to have a baby with her partner, she suddenly becomes haunted by a split-boned, crooked entity that terrifies her day and night. This creature starts to threaten her daily routine, and soon after giving birth puts her baby daughter at risk too. Since no one else believes in her, she seeks help from her aunt who suggests a group of witches can lift the curse. Garza Cervera’s film offers a staunch criticism of cultural and social expectations of what is to be a Mexican woman, that is, someone who is primarily subjected to the domestic and the maternal. Huesera introduces a monstrous creature that can easily be interpreted as a sign of anxiety and dread of motherhood, reminiscent of classic horror films such as Rosemary’s Baby (1968) or The Babadook (2014).

Enrique Ajuria Ibarra is Senior Assistant Professor at Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP), Mexico. He has published several articles and chapters on Mexican Gothic horror cinema. He is the editor-in-chief of the online, peer-reviewed journal Studies in Gothic Fiction. He is currently exploring the Gothic in the Archie Comics Universe and continues looking at Gothic and horror in Mexican film and literature.

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