Corporeal abjection and counterculture in independent Mexican cinema after 1968

Edgardo F. Tormos Bigles

This article examines three films by Mexican filmmaker Alfredo Joskowicz (1937– 2012) in the context of the emergence of independent Mexican cinema: Crates (1970), El cambio/The Change (1971), and Meridiano 100/Meridian 100 (1974).  As a direct product of the 1968 Student Movement, this filmic corpus stood in direct opposition to the industrial, state-subsidized cinema that was perceived as an emissary of national discursive hegemony.

My analysis foregrounds the representation of corporeal abjection as one of the main tropes through which these films enacted countercultural insurrection. I also aim to demonstrate how these three films represent shifts in Joskowicz’s ideological perspective, and how they correspond to the State’s intensifying repression and the concomitant radicalization of leftist opposition. I argue that Jokowicz’s initial representation of bodily abjection first stood as the emblem of an authentic dissidence predicated on biopolitical insurrection, and later acquired a negative, necropolitical valence that effectively delimited a great part of independent cinema’s political-ideological horizon.

Crates (1970)


El cambio (1971)











Interview with Alfredo Joskowicz produced by IMCINE shortly before his death in 2012.

Tormos Bigles, Edgardo (2021), ‘Alfredo Joskowicz: Corporeal abjection
and counterculture in independent Mexican’, Studies in Spanish & Latin
American Cinemas, 18:3, pp. 351–63,