Question: Think about the title of the film “Portrait of Teresa”. This is a central idea in the film: the nature of a woman’s status and her processes of struggle to “fit into” the ideals of revolutionary Cuba. Compare/contrast Teresa’s role in Cuban society with the role of Esperanza Quintero in Salt of Sea. Who are these women? Are there parallels, contradictions, similarities in their experiences, relationships, cultures? What were the filmmakers perspectives on these characters? Do they ring true today
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Comparison of leading Women’s role in Portrait of Teresa and Salt of Sea
Every society has different values, traditions and perceptions regarding the role of women that fit within their historical, cultural and social contexts. The cinema being an important cultural institution and reflector of social values tends to depict the role of women in movies to refer their current status as well as to motivate them playing a non traditional role for some specified purposes. In the movies “Portrait of Teresa” and “Salt of the earth” also, the directors Pastor Vega and Herbert Biberman have presented the roles of women in quite encouraging manner to show the women’s potential of playing a revolutionary and defining role in setting up trends and growth directions of a society.
Brian Neve, Film and Politics in America: A Social Tradition, London, 1992
Portrait of Teresa (1978), Dir Pastor Vega, Cuba
Stanley Aronowitz (1992), False Promises: The Shaping of American Working Class Consciousness (New York: McGraw Hill, 1973), pp. 333-4
Salt of the Earth (1965), Dir. Herbert J. Biberman, Harbor Electronic Publishing, New York