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Reading: The Portrayal of Continental Latin America in the James Bond Films

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The Portrayal of Continental Latin America in the James Bond Films

Authors:

Antti Korpisaari ,

Outi J. Hakola

Abstract

On screen, James Bond has repeatedly travelled to Latin America. The cinematic landscapes of Latin America portrayed in the film series often appear as visual spectacles, exotic locations of adventure and enticement. However, these cinematic representations also carry metaphorical dimensions, whereby Latin American topographies take on various political, cultural, and social meanings. In this article, we focus on representational politics and the ways in which the Bond franchise has presented continental Latin America in three films: Moonraker (1979), Licence to Kill (1989), and Quantum of Solace (2008); we argue that these films, in particular, utilise and reference a capitalist-colonial heritage which “others” Central and South America in the popular imagination. In Moonraker, Brazil provides a visually spectacular background for undesirable Westerners, with little to no agency afforded to Latin American spaces and peoples; Licence to Kill presents a sordid image of Central America which emphasises the threat of drug trafficking to both Latin America and the West at large; and Quantum of Solace highlights the illicit exploits of global capitalism and the self-interested politics of Western governments, taking a refreshingly critical stance towards the many ways in which the West has traditionally used Latin America as its own back yard.

How to Cite: Korpisaari, A., & Hakola, O. J. (2021). The Portrayal of Continental Latin America in the James Bond Films. International Journal of James Bond Studies, 4(1). DOI: http://doi.org/10.24877/jbs.66
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Published on 01 May 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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