This essay analyzes two films produced during the Golden Age of Mexican Films (1931-1960) in order to explore the social structuring of women’s insanity. Both films deal with the scientific knowledge—the advice of psychiatrists was part of the productions—as well as with the symbolic references pervading Mexican society to understand the causes, symptoms and treatment of women’s insanity. These social imaginaries of women’s psychopathologies were marked by gender references which delimited what a woman should or should not be. In order to know how women’s insanity was taken into the big screen in Mexico during the middle of the Twentieth Century the essay will proceed simultaneously down three pathways: the history of film during the Golden Age, psychiatric knowledge and its application in the Mental Institutions, and the symbolic references and values that established the boundary between the sane and the insane woman.

Author Biography

Andrés Ríos is Ph.D. candidate in History at El Colegio de México. His thesis deals with the history of insanity during the Mexican Revolution.