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White GypsiesRace and Stardom in Spanish Musicals$
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Eva Woods Peiró

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816645848

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816645848.001.0001

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Time, Racial Otherness, and Digressions in Silent Films of the 1920s

Time, Racial Otherness, and Digressions in Silent Films of the 1920s

(p.31) Chapter 1 Time, Racial Otherness, and Digressions in Silent Films of the 1920s
White Gypsies

Eva Woods Peiró

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter examines how silent film melodrama’s use of colonialist narratives as plot digressions created precedents for appropriate kinds of identity and subjecthood for citizen-spectators. It demonstrates the significance of racial digression by studying the fictional silent films La gitana blanca (The white Gypsy) and a range of other examples from the 1910s and 1920s, which contain temporal and spatial digressions to the space of Gypsiness and Africa. The insertions of fragments of reality in silent film melodramas, which includes melodramatic family narratives, formed a connection between the spectators and the Gypsy camps and the colonial battlefields of North Africa.

Keywords:   silent film melodramas, colonialist narratives, plot digressions, identity, subjecthood, The White Gypsy, racial digression, spectatorship

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