The Female españolada
The first three generations of female directors in Spain (Helena Cortesina, Rosario Pi Brujas, Margarita Alexandre, Ana Mariscal and Josefina Molina) have used the españolada, a cinematic genre of French import, as a privileged filmic discourse to create female models that, more or less explicitly, differ from those established by the dominant status quo. This corpus subverts the traditional parameters of such a genre, parameters that varied throughout the changes of Spain’s political background. The directors desexualized women while the official Republican discourse of the españolada sexualized them; and vice versa, when the hegemonic Francoist discourse created models of purity and chastity, women’s cinema forged erotic female figures. In spite of the differences throughout the evolution of this corpus, the protagonists persistently chose their freedom; a freedom that rarely corresponded to the stability of marriage, even though, paradoxically, the only way to obtain it was at times through their systematic decorporization, or rather, their death.