Narcos in Jesús María: Dystopian empowerment in the amateur exploitation film Corazón cubano / Cuban Heart (2014)
Studies in Spanish & Latin American Cinemas
This article analyses the film Corazón cubano/Cuban Heart (Liyuen Valdés 2014), a story about drug traffickers in the Jesús María neighbourhood of Havana, circulated only through the Paquete Semanal (Weekly Package). Examining the creators' symbolic identification with the figure of the narco, this article explores Corazón as an example of amateur, alternative and informal media within the Paquete and its relationship with exploitation, cult and trash cinema. It argues that Corazón's appropriation of narconarratives through reparteros (the inhabitants of Havana's peripheric and poorest neighbourhoods) is linked to the relationship between reparteros, rap and reggaeton and points to the filmmakers' will to combine social criticism and entertainment. Corazón also reproduces controversial practices and discourses like 'necroempowerment' (Valencia) or 'fascinating violence' (Valencia and Sepúlveda), developing dystopian empowerment by appropriating the narco as a 'cultural persona' (Edberg).
Dorta, Walfrido. “Narcos in Jesús María: Dystopian Empowerment in the Amateur Exploitation Film Corazón Cubano / Cuban Heart (2014).” Studies in Spanish & Latin American Cinemas, vol. 18, no. 2, June 2021, pp. 139–158. https://doi.org/10.1386/slac_00043_1