Ana María Sánchez-Arce
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Other voices, other stories
La ley del deseo
in The cinema of Pedro Almodóvar
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This chapter focuses on El Deseo’s first film, La ley del deseo, arguing that this melodrama-cum-thriller explores LGBTQ+ issues in the context of the AIDS panic before queer trans studies and trans theory emerged in the 1990s. The film highlights how LGBTQ+ issues were taboo. Homosexuality was criminalised in Spain and the situation of LGBTQ+ communities was precarious. The film draws attention to this by making the stereotypes about gay men and trans women crucial in the mistakes police make while investigating a murder and by turning viewers into detectives trying to discover the central characters’ traumatic pasts.

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