Challenging the rhetorical oxymoron: Lesbian motherhood in contemporary European cinema

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-159
JournalStudies in European Cinema
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007
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Abstract

Whilst the question of lesbian identity within contemporary European cinema is receiving increasing attention, the taboo of lesbian as both mother and erotic subject still lacks any substantial explicit treatment. Drawing on recent sociological studies, this article analyses three of a small number of European feature films that engage with the subject of lesbian motherhood. Its main objective is to examine the portrayal of this dual identity in Zwei Frauen, ein Mann und ein Baby/Oh Baby, a Baby (1999), Between Two Women (2000) and A mi madre le gustan las mujeres/My Mother Likes Women (2002). It will determine the extent to which these works challenge negative stereotypical representations of lesbians, allowing often mutually exclusive signifiers to be present simultaneously. I will argue that despite their success in bringing this uncommon cinematographic subject to the screen, the directors, through their conscious decisions regarding content, ultimately fail to offer any significant resistance to the dominant heterosexual familial paradigm.