Border Bandits: Hollywood on the Southern Frontier

Front Cover
University of Texas Press, Jun 3, 2009 - Performing Arts - 249 pages
0 Reviews
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified

The southern frontier is one of the most emotionally charged zones in the United States, second only to its historical predecessor and partner, the western frontier. Though they span many genres, border films share common themes, trace the mood swings of public policy, and shape our cultural agenda.

In this examination, Camilla Fojas studies how major Hollywood films exploit the border between Mexico and the United States to tell a story about U.S. dominance in the American hemisphere. She charts the shift from the mythos of the open western frontier to that of the embattled southern frontier by offering in-depth analyses of particular border films, from post-World War II Westerns to drug-trafficking films to contemporary Latino/a cinema, within their historical and political contexts.

Fojas argues that Hollywood border films do important social work by offering a cinematic space through which viewers can manage traumatic and undesirable histories and ultimately reaffirm core "American" values. At the same time, these border narratives delineate opposing values and ideas.

Latino border films offer a critical vantage onto these topics; they challenge the presumptions of U.S. nationalism and subsequent cultural attitudes about immigrants and immigration, and often critically reconstruct their Hollywood kin.

By analyzing films such as Duel in the Sun, The Wild Bunch, El Norte, The Border, Traffic, and Brokeback Mountain, Fojas demands that we reexamine the powerful mythology of the Hollywood borderlands. This detailed scrutiny recognizes that these films are part of a national narrative comprised of many texts and symbols that create the myth of the United States as capital of the Americas.


What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Hollywood on the Border
Border Westerns and the Southern Frontier
Hollywood Border Crossers and Buddy Cops in the 1980s
The Narc in All of Us Border Media and the War on Drugs
Urban Frontiers Border Cinema and the Global City
Frontier Myths on the Line Border Cinema Redux

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

Camilla Fojas is an associate professor of media studies and affiliated faculty in American studies at the University of Virginia.

Bibliographic information