Antigone Film Series: The Milk of Sorrow

Thursday, October 29, 2020 - 7:00pm to 9:30pm


Event Contact

Rogers, Sarah

Streaming link:

In collaboration with Screen/Society, the Franklin Humanities Institute is happy to announce an international film series on Antigone as part of its World Arts series. Curated by Andrés Fabián Henao Castro, the four films are not strictly adaptations of Antigone (only one explicitly refers to Sophocles’ play), but each takes up the themes of political violence and contested burials in ways that resonate with the ancient tragedy. From Germany to the México-US border, and from Peru to the Congo, the political contestation over who can or cannot be buried invites us to reflect, yet again, on the historical violence that lies at the foundation of the state.

The Milk of Sorrow (La Teta Asustada)
Claudia Llosa, 2009

Introduced by Miguel Rojas Sotelo
Program Coordinator
Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Duke University
Followed by Zoom discussion

Relevant publications:
“Be Patient | Se Paciente: Artistic and Medical Entanglements in the Work of Libia Posada.” (2008).
“Caminar, explorar, olvidar” en
Ensayos Sobre Arte Contemporáneo en Colombia 2006-2007. Bogotá: Universidad de los Andes. 2007.

Set in the aftermath of the brutal war between Fujimori’s government and Shining Path in Peru, The Milk of Sorrow tells the story of Fausta’s efforts to take her mother’s body back to her village for burial. Like Creon, in Sophocles’ ancient tragedy, Antigone, Fausta’s uncle is opposed and wants the body to be rather quickly buried in the courtyard of his house. Songs, according to some, the most important in ancient tragedy, also have a special place in this film. It is through Fausta’s mother song that we are introduced to the sexual violence of Peru’s civil war and its long-lasting effects on indigenous women. It is through Fausta’s own song, that we are also led into the aftermath of that colonial violence, when wealthy pianist, Aída, who is struggling to complete a new piece for her recital, non-consensually appropriates Fausta’s song, who depends on Aída’s money to pay for her mother’s funeral.

More Information
Young woman with a red flower in her mouth
Thursday, October 29, 2020 - 7:00pm to 9:30pm
Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI)
Event Co-Sponsors
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS), Cinematic Arts, Classical Studies, Duke Arts, English, International Comparative Studies (ICS), Literature, Romance Studies