Hollywood's growing influence in Latin America in the early twentieth century coincided and intermingled with an expanding US economic and military presence in the region. Yet at the same time, a nascent silent film industry challenged US hegemony and made visible the diverse political, cultural, and social characteristics of the region. Juan Sebastián Ospina León's Struggles for Recognition: Melodrama and Visibility in Latin American Silent Film is an ambitious, South-to-North hemispheric look at the intersections of silent cinema, melodrama, and modernity in the 1910s and 1920s. In addition to representing a significant contribution to the still-understudied topic of early cinema in Latin America, Struggles for Recognition enriches our understanding of modernity, gender, and political culture in places as distinct as Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico during this era.

Researching silent film presents significant challenges in terms of sources and compels scholars to grapple with the techniques and politics of film preservation...

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