Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



This article opens with a brief summary of the Mexican cinematic tradition, followed by references to Carlos Reygadass preference for auteur cinema and to the common denominator of his films, the topic of taboo. After contextualizing Mennonite presence in Mexico, this text focuses on the process of adaptation of Kaj Munk's play Ordet (1932), which spawned several avatars, among them Carl Theodor Dreyer's homonymous film, Ordet (1954), and Reygadas's Stellet Licht [Silent Light] (2008). Special consideration is given to Dreyer's influence on the Mexican director, that is, on minimalism in terms of mise-en-scène, character and camera movement. An exploration of Gilles Deleuze's views on the effects of the postwar crisis on Classic films, such as the dispersive situation, the deliberately weak links, the voyage form, the consciousness of clichés and the condemnation of plot in Stellet Licht follows. Subsequently, the focus turns on the way the French philosopher's notions of time, especially 'peaks of the present' and 'sheets of the past,' shed light on Reygadas's film. The article concludes by setting Reygadas's film within the context of the fusion between the generic conventions of the documentary and of neorealism with those of drama, a common practice in Latin American cinematic production which can be traced back to the late 1950s.'


LAII Research Paper Series 51

Language (ISO)



The Latin American and Iberian Institute of the University of New Mexico


Carlos Reygadas, Stellet Licht, Theodor Dreyer, Ordet, Gilles Deleuze, Mexican cinema